What are the defences to a claim for unjust enrichment?
There is a presumption that when a person provides ‘spousal services’ to another, those services should be taken as having been given with the expectation of compensation, unless there is evidence to the contrary.
Further, in Canada, there is a presumption in a long-term common law relationship that the spouse has been helpless to assert her rights, and is susceptible to harm.
These presumptions mean that many defences raised by a person’s common law spouse would generally not work. For instance, arguments that he never requested his partner’s contributions, that she gave the contributions to him as a gift, that she made these contributions out of love without expectation of return, that he did not want his partner to make these contributions, that he did not understand that he would have to compensate his partner for these contributions, and so on, would all fail.
The best defence for the person’s common law partner is that he has adequately compensated her for her contributions prior to separation.
Related Articles On Common Law Property Division
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Find out the in a case of unjust enrichment.
Remedies – what will a court do if it finds that there has been an unjust enrichment.
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