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    When a 3-year common law relationship breaks up, how do the assets and earnings get divided? We live in a house that my partner owned before we met. My partner looks after our son which is a far larger matter but I'm not as ignorant about it. My partner doesn't work right now but earned slightly more than I do now when he did work.
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    You may be considerably screwed. Unless you can prove that you contributed
    financially or indirectly to the acquisition or improvement of your partner's house you
    have no right whatsoever to any share of it since you are not married to him. In fact,
    unless you got a court order confirming that you and entitled to share in the equity of the
    home because you directly or indirectly contributed to its improvement, then he could
    legally kick you out of the house tomorrow without any notice. The most common way of
    proving such contribution is if you paid for part of a monthly mortgage commitment,
    utilities or realty taxes. The sole exception to this rule might be in those cases where you
    could prove that you were his tenant through a record of consistent monthly payments, a
    lease agreement or if you have signed a cohabitation agreement with him giving you
    "rights of possession." In common law relationships, absent such a court order, which
    acknowledges proof of such contributions or absent a cohabitation agreement, whatever
    is in your name is yours and whatever is in his name is his. There is no "sharing: if the
    values of you assets (or debts). Jointly owned assets are divided equally. In your
    particular case it gets worse. Since he's currently unemployed and you are working, then
    you may have to pay him spousal support until he finds a job, even though you are not
    married since for the purposes of spousal support, he becomes a "spouse" (married or
    not) for the purpose of such support only (not property division) after cohabiting for more
    than one year, of you share a child or three years if you don't. If that isn't bad enough,
    since your partner has been the one primarily looking after your children in the event of a
    court challenge he is in a better legal position to get custody or at least primary care of
    him. Moreover, you may also be stuck paying child support accordingly to a tabled
    geared to your yearly gross income, not his. So, either reconcile or find a shoulder to cry
    on.

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