In common-law break up, do you own half the house if you paid half the bills?

June 18th, 2014 by

In common-law break up, do you own half the house if you paid half the bills (but are not on title)?

Under Ontario Law, only married couples have property division on separation.  Common law couples do not.

However, if you have contributed to the property more than you would have paid for rent to live there, it is may be possible for you to make claim that you own part of the property.  It is a complicated claim to make, and you really need a lawyer to do it.  This is a principal of “equity”.  It applies to any two people who have contributed to an asset, not just common law couples.  For more about this type of claim, see this page.  If you can’t make that claim, but have suffered a financial hardship as a result of the breakdown of the relationship, you may be able to make a claim for spousal support. Watch this video or listen to this podcast.

These principles, and all the law that applies to common law couples on the breakdown of their relationship, as well as an explanation of family court and the alternatives to court, are all explained in this $20 easy to understand book about Ontario Family Law.

WARNING you may only have two years to make the claim, so don’t wait to see a lawyer.  For more information on marriage registration and family law, please contact Toronto family lawyer John Schuman at 416-446-5080.


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