Switch to ADA Accessible Theme
Close Menu

Can a Former Cohabitating Partner Be Sued For Ending the Relationship?


Cohabitating may seem like a good alternative to marriage in some relationships, and it in some cases, it may be. If this is something you’re thinking about with a partner, it is imperative that you consider the scenario of the relationship ending before combining assets. Unfortunately, data published by the Institution of Marriage and Family indicates that relationships that begin with cohabitation are almost twice as likely to end than those that began with marriage, regardless of whether they eventually marry or not.

One of the biggest reasons for this is also one that no couple wants to consider. This is the fact that a relationship can be easier to dissolve when there is no legal marriage involved. This also means that while one partner may want to stay in the relationship, the other has much less incentive to do so if he or she does not want to. However, as a case recently addressed, that does not mean that the party who wanted to stay in the relationship can seek legal ramifications against the other party for refusing to do so.

Can a Former Cohabitating Partner Be Sued For Ending the Relationship?

The Ontario Superior Court of Justice recently considered an interesting set of assertions brought by a man against his former cohabitating girlfriend and the friend who helped her leave and file criminal charges against him. In Bobel v. Humecka and Patten, the man’s purported legal claims against his ex were extensive and while partially based in Family Law, the many allegations also included claims such as false imprisonment, conspiracy, and libel. The parties had formerly owned a house jointly that had subsequently been sold and the profits divided appropriately. Over a year after the house sale was resolved and almost two years after relationship ended, the man commenced the lawsuit in which he alleged several claims.

The ex-girlfriend brought a motion to the court, asking for all or part of the man’s lengthy Statement of Claim to be struck out in its entirety, on the basis it lacked any legal basis and was abusive of the court’s processes.

In regard to almost every asserted cause of action, the court found that the man had presented bare allegations with no facts to support it. Therefore, the bulk of the claims were struck. For example, the court found that there was no evidence from the record that the man could use to plead that would allow him to claim damages for himself under the Family Law Act. Overall, it was determined that the man was essentially suing his ex-girlfriend for ending their relationship and that there was no legal principle that requires a person to be truthful to their significant other or to not date more than one person at a time.

Turn to Us For Compassionate and Experienced Legal Assistance.

As the Mississauga family lawyers at Zagazeta Garcia LLP, we have significant experience helping people like you figure out how to understand exactly how to prepare for cohabitation or marriage with a partner in order to protect the assets you have worked so hard to obtain. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.




Facebook Twitter LinkedIn