Yes, the house is yours but beware because if your common law spouse contributed to the preservation or maintenance of that property through either financial or non-financial means (i.e. cooking, cleaning, etc.) then he or she may have a claim for unjust enrichment, constructive trust or a resulting trust.
The principles of unjust enrichment are:
- an enrichment of one spouse
- a corresponding deprivation of the other
- no juristic/legal reason for the enrichment
A claim for unjust enrichment will result in the compensation of your spouse for his or her contributions which resulted in your enrichment and his or her corresponding deprivation.
A claim for constructive trust, on the other hand, will result in your spouse gaining an actual ownership interest in the property in question proportionate to the contributions made.
These contributions can be either financial or non-financial and in order to be successful in a claim for constructive trust, your spouse will have to satisfy the principles of unjust enrichment as well as evince some sort of nexus between the contributions made and the property owned.
Lastly, your spouse may make a claim for a resulting trust. Typically, this claim arises when there is a financial contribution made to the acquisition or maintenance of property vesting a beneficial interest in the individual who contributed and legal title solely in the other individual. If a common intention can be found, based on the conduct of the parties, then an interest accrues on the party without legal title and a resulting trust arises.