“How is property divided for common law couples?”
The basic rule is that when a common law couple separates, each person keeps what belongs to them (its either in their name, for instance a house, car or bank account or the person bought it, for instance a piece of furniture). And each person is responsible for payment of their own debts.
Tip: Keep receipts for everything.
If you’re not happy with the result that each person keeps what is in their name, you can claim that the other person has been unjustly enriched. Below is a menu of articles about unjust enrichment and how it works.
In Manitoba, since 2004, there is a new law that after living together for a certain period of time, the property rights of unmarried couples will be the same as the property rights of unmarried couples. Find out about the Manitoba regime.
“What about property in both of our names?”
If an asset is in both of your names, then you’re each entitled to half of its value.
You’ll need to decide between the two of you how to deal with it: either one of you will need to buy the other out, or the asset will need to be sold, with the proceeds of sale divided equally.
If there’s no agreement as to how the asset is to be divided, a court will normally order the asset sold.
Unjust Enrichment Articles
Unjust Enrichment – how property is divided on common law separation in Ontario.
Find out the defences to a claim for unjust enrichment.
Read about some examples of unjust enrichment.
Find out the issues in a case of unjust enrichment.
Remedies – what will a court do if it finds that there has been an unjust enrichment.
Resulting Trusts: your other option.
NOTE: There is no simple formula to describe how property is divided upon common law separation in Canada.
The law in this area is complex and unsettled.
So, you need a skilled advocate on your side to ensure that you get the best possible result.