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Dual Income - A question from the other side

Anonymous Asked:

1. My boyfriend and I are thinking about buying a home and moving in together; he has one child that he is paying support for. Feeling that it is not my financial obligation to support another women's income by financially supporting the child in 2 homes (our roof and hers), what can I do to protect myself from her going after dual income like she has threatened?

2. Is there any legally binding agreement that can be created between my boyfriend and myself that protects me financially even if she was to take him to court? Is the key not to get married?

3.Plus if I am still legally married - separated for 12 years, just never divorced - does that mean we would not be considered common law, which would also add a level of complexity to any claim on my money being successful? I'm happy to do what I can to provide a loving home and divide the bill and holiday expenses equally in the home that would help provide for the child. I just don't feel responsible to make his life and hers better over there too.

Thank you

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Stuart Zukerman
8 years ago

1. Your boyfriend’s spouse has no claim against you nor your income whether you are in a married, common law or any other relationship with your boyfriend. Her threats to pursue your “dual incomes” are meaningless as there is no law in BC nor under the federal Divorce Act that permits such a claim. The only minor way in which your income can even be considered regarding child support is that if your boyfriend attempts to use the “Undue Hardship” provisions of the Child Support Guidelines to argue that he cannot afford to pay the applicable table amount of child support, then the court will conduct a “Standards of Living” Comparison test whereby the combined total income of all adults in each party’s households would be compared to the Poverty level of income in Canada such that if the recipient’s standard of living is closer to the Poverty level than the payor’s standard of living is, then the payor cannot successfully claim an undue hardship – but even under that test the payor’s requirement to pay the table amount of support is based solely on the payor’s income and has no relation to his new partner’s income.

2. There is no agreement available to protect you from claims made against you by your boyfriend’s ex as there are no claims that his ex can make against you (regarding child support).

3. No the fact that you are not divorced from your first spouse will have no bearing on whether you are in a common law relationship with your boyfriend – under BC law once you have cohabited in a spousal like relationship for 2 or more years- you are in fact in a common law relationship.

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