Twihards everywhere suffered a collective meltdown this week amid Kristen Stewart's confession of her affair with Hollywood director Rupert Sanders.
After gossip magazine US Weekly broke news of the scandal, Stewart issued a public apology to her long-time boyfriend and Twilight co-star Pattinson. Lamenting what she described as a "momentary indiscretion," Stewart expressed deep regret in a statement issued to People magazine. She said:
"I'm deeply sorry for the hurt and embarrassment I've caused to those close to me and everyone this has affected. This momentary indiscretion has jeopardized the most important thing in my life, the person I love and respect the most, Rob. I love him, I love him, I'm so sorry."
Following news of the split, People magazine reported that Pattinson has moved out of the Los Angeles home he shared with Stewart.
Should their breakup prove to be a permanent state of affairs, the couple will face the unenviable task of answering a question older than Edward Cullen himself - who gets what?
In Ontario, unmarried couples that achieve "common law" status may be entitled to spousal support and/or a division of property upon the breakdown of their relationship. To achieve this status, a couple must have cohabited for three years or must have a child and be in a relationship of some permanence.
With respect to spousal support, the determination of entitlement to such support is the same for common law couples as for married ones. That is, the amount of a support obligation is determined in light of the parties' incomes, ages, educations, careers, and standards of living, among other factors.
Claims for division of property, however, are far less straightforward. Since there is no equalization of property in a common law relationship,claimants seeking a division of property must establish an unjust enrichment or a resulting trust.
To prove unjust enrichment, a claimant must establish that their partner experienced an enrichment, that they suffered a corresponding deprivation, and that there was no legal reason for the enrichment. For example, a court might find unjust enrichment where a claimant provided domestic services and sacrificed their career to enable their partner to pursue a business interest that ultimately succeeded.
To prove a resulting trust, the claimant must establish that the parties had an agreement, express or implied, that the ownership of property would be shared in spite of legal title. For example, if one partner contributed funds towards the renovation of a property held solely in title by the other partner, a court might find that the contributing party held an interest in the property on the basis of a resulting trust.
Whether Stewart and Pattinson will mend fences or hire two moving trucks destined for different locations remains to be determined.
One truth, however, resonates throughout this debacle – whether a movie star, vampire, or regular franchise movie enthusiast – breaking up is hard to do.