Why a COMMON LAW SPOUSE must pay financial compensation to his ex
A Superior Court judge ordered an unmarried spouse to pay financial compensation of more than $ 2 million to his ex (decision 2018 QCCS 4195). He relied on the theory of unjust enrichment to make this decision. The spouse was able to build a high-value business while Madame stayed at home to take care of family and household tasks.
According to the judge, there are three main application criteria for opening a claim on the basis of unjust enrichment:
(a) the enrichment of a spouse;
(b) the consequent impoverishment of the other spouse; and
(c) the absence of any legal grounds for enrichment.
According to the judge, to the extent:
– the de facto union between the two spouses is of long duration;
– the enrichment of one occurs during this union;
– the participation of the other spouse in the accumulation of wealth of the first is present, such participation can take several forms including the assumption of increased family responsibilities to release the other spouse;
– this participation results not from a legal obligation but from a legitimate aspiration to a better life;
It must then be concluded that the possibility of unjustified enrichment (that is, an enrichment that will not have happened so much if it had not been for the participation of the other spouse) is worthy of to be taken into account.
Talk to your lawyer about it.