Property Division

Example Cases

Pettkus v Becker – Woman supported man for first 5 years of their common law relationship, so he could save to acquire a bee farm. The bee farm was purchased in his name. Woman then took a major role in running the bee farm. The Supreme Court of Canada decided that man was unjustly enriched, and imposed a constructive trust on half of all his assets, effective at the date of separation. Full Text.

Sorochan v Sorochan – During a 42-year common law relationship, woman performed all of the domestic duties, raised the 6 children, and worked long hours on the farm. The Supreme Court of Canada decided that man was unjustly enriched. The court imposed a constructive trust effective the date of separation on 1/3 of the farm, plus awarded a money payment that brought the total value of the award to almost half the value of the farm. Full Text.

Peter v Beblow – During a 12-year common law relationship, woman raised children from her previous relationship and from man’s previous relationship. After the first year, she worked outside the home, contributing financially, although never as much as man. She also worked in and around the house, improving it, and gardening. The Supreme Court of Canada found that the man had been unjustly enriched.
It calculated the appropriate compensation on the basis of what the man would have had to pay a housekeeper, less the benefit the woman received from the accommodation.
As the man did not have sufficient funds to pay this, woman was awarded a constructive trust interest in the entire matrimonial home effective on the date of separation.
Full Text.

Related Articles On Common Law Property Division

Unjust Enrichment – how property is divided on common law separation in Ontario.

Find out the defences to a claim for 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.

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