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Sharing Living Expenses With a Boyfriend or Girlfriend

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When living with a partner it is important to have a clear understanding of how the household costs are divided. This guide is about sharing living expenses with boyfriend.


Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

0 found this helpful
March 15, 2017

My boyfriend and I both own our own homes. His adult daughter who is 38 years old and her 12 year old son live with him. She has a good job, but is in a lot of debt. He helps me a lot fixing things at my house. We take short trips a few times a year close to home and he pays for the lodging. I drive my car, pay for gas, and share in other expenses. He stays at my house 5 days a week. My problem is his daughter pays nothing at his house and he pays nothing at mine, which is OK. He only buys wine when he is here, no food, and we don't eat out much. He seems to think since he fixes things I should not ask him to buy food. If I mention his daughter living free at his house he gets mad. She runs his gas bill up to $ 200 a month.

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March 16, 20170 found this helpful

It looks like there is a boundary issue going on here with regard to his daughter. I completely understand your frustration over her living there rent-free, but the truth is that he does not owe you an explanation. While I get that you are in an exclusive relationship, you are not married to him, and therefore whatever arrangement he has put in place in order to help his daughter and grandchild is not contingent upon your approval. I also think that if you both have no interest in taking your relationship to the next level, and are happy dating for now, you kinda don't want to start demanding compensation for the time he spends with you.

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3 found this helpful
January 2, 2014

My boyfriend kinda started staying here 24/7 a year ago, for the first 14 months he didn't help pay for anything. Then of coarse me being single mom of 2 couldn't afford to feed 4 of us so I had to use credit cards to be able to make it. Needless to say I'm now in credit card trouble. He decided on his own he was going to make 300$ a month payments to the card and so would I. He also paid 300$ a month toward groceries and other bills. His cell is in my name so it's 100$ which I been paying for so technically 200$ towards groceries and bills.

This lasted 2 months then he got angry and started questioning me to where "his" money is going. I told him $300 to the card 100$ to your phone and that leaves 200$ for food and bills. He eats more then 200$ a month. He yelled at me that he didn't eat 200$ a month in food so now we are back to me paying for everything. I don't know what to do, I work 3 jobs to be able to do what I gotta do and I feel used that I have absolutely no time for anything but work, make dinner, clean, and sleep. He works full time and he pays for his car, car insurance, and that's it. He wants to save his money for hobbies and spend it on hobbies for himself while I slave. I don't know, maybe this is the way its supposed to be?


By sweetsammy

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January 5, 20141 found this helpful

Ok you stated he 'kinda' started staying with you, is he actually living with you? 24/7 would indicate not kinda he actually is. Not sure if he is the father to either of your children, but if he is then he should be financially helping you with the care of the child and household.

He doesn't sound like he is mature enough to understand the importance of things. Buying things he just wants or collects is not being responsible nor showing he cares anything about you or your children. He is just using you, a place to crash and whatever else your supplying him with.."to stop the addict you must stop supplying to the addiction".

Once he is out contact friends/family with things you may need help with, such as the children, etc. Start cutting coupons to save that extra money to catch up on bills. And if need be move to a house or apartment that is cheaper. Don't ruin your life, children's life and credit due to someone else. Especially if they could careless about you and your children. They always come first. Never a man.

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0 found this helpful
October 18, 2014

Here's the thing, my BF asked me to move in last month because he couldn't move to my city. He has 4 kids. So I quit my job (looking for a new one in his city now, but he doesn't want me to work because someone needs to stay at home when kids are off) and moved to his house. Before I moved in I offered to pay he said no. But now he wants me to help with all cost. I asked him what's "the cost" he listed: water, gas, electricity, mortgage (he owns 3 places) and car. He said, just pay what you think is fair. Before I moved in he asked me how much do I want to take care of the kids and everyday living. I said no, because I'm not a babysitter and since I'm with him, I will help him taking care of his kids for sure. BTW we are not engaged. To my opinion, it is OK to share the water bill, gas and electricity, but mortgage, it is not my house!


By Heather

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October 19, 20140 found this helpful
Best Answer

It sounds like you were taken for a sucker. He wants a built in baby sitter plus somebody to help with his living expenses. Considering he and his kids use more of all the things listed than you do. I would get the heck out of there.

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0 found this helpful
November 29, 2016

My BF and I are now living together after one year. We are in our mid-to-late 40s and I have moved into his home. Right now we are splitting most of the bills/spending, but I have been covering a bit more of the bills, outings, and food as I make more. The issue is that we are splitting mortgage payments and I do not have my name on the title.

His grown daughter also lives at home (but does not contribute) and he has some personal debt wrapped up in the mortgage that I'm not comfortable paying. I'm not sure what an equitable split would look like, but I don't know that I should be paying for his daughter and his debt. He is awful with money and hates to even open his bills so I think I'm nervous that this is just the tip of the iceberg of some pretty big financial issues.

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December 30, 20160 found this helpful

This should have been discussed before you moved in. In my opinion, if you are living there, you should pay a portion. If you were not living there, you would be paying your own mortgage or rent. Think of the portion of the mortgage that you are paying as your rent.

I bought my first house while I was in college. I had 2 roommates. At that time, my mortgage was $300 per month. They each paid me $100 a month for rent, and 1/3 of the utilities. We never thought of it as being wrong because their names were not on the house or mortgage. It was their rent to me, as I was the homeowner.

However, I think the biggest issue here is that he can't handle his money. That is a red flag. The fact he has other debt would depend on several things. Is it past due old debts or is it debt he pays monthly. If he has old debts or late debts, then you don't want your name on the mortgage or title as it will end up hurting your credit as well.

How old is the daughter? Is she still in school? If she doesn't give money, does she help out at home by cooking or cleaning?

If it were me, I would be seeing about other living arrangements.

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0 found this helpful
September 7, 2016

I am a 31y/o woman living with my boyfriend, who is 56 and succesful in his career. I have lived in his house for a few months now and we've been together for almost 2 years. I knew he had plans for his 32 y/o son, who has very mild autism, to stay with him for a year to help him with his obesity.

I help with the house, I'm the cook, I play as his son's dietitian, exercise partner, driver, I take him to shows and do fun stuff. Also, I have a 4 day a week job as a dental assitant. I love them so much and I know they love me too. My boyfriend is going to retire soon (he worked at a bank with a good position) and he has slowly been asking me for monetary help.

I feel like I work a lot at home and also for both of them and also for myself. I haven't paid anything yet. But if I start paying for rent ($500) should I lessen work at home and get a part time job? I'm also in big debt.
About my relationship with my bf, we talked about marriage before, but with a prenuptial which I strongly agree. He told me all his money is going to his son. Which doesn't bother me at all.

So all this, I feel like I'm not getting anything out of it. I will have to work for my future of course, work at home, and still pay rent? Is it right that I have to pay rent and work as a "full time mother" aside from my job?

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September 9, 20160 found this helpful

That's saying is totally me right now. I really wonder if he would marry me. I should have conversation with him about our future.

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0 found this helpful
March 30, 2016

I am an 8 year widow. I have a house in my name. My boyfriend lives with me, but says it's not his house and does nothing as far as cleaning, etc. I am the maid. He thinks $250 a week is too much to pay. I pay the mortgage plus more. He deducts his gas and cigarettes from that. Those are not household expenses. I feel like I'm being used and abused. He does nothing and withholds any $ that are left after his deductions, as punishment. We have no written legal agreement; he wouldn't sign.

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June 5, 20160 found this helpful

Good grief...kick him out. These situations rarely work out, and I think you'll feel better about yourself if you don't agree be a doormat. Read Jeremiah 29:11-13. GOD has a better plan for your life, and I'd guess this guy is not part of that plan.

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October 1, 20141 found this helpful

I have been with my son's father for almost 12 years now (yes still not married). We have been thru the worst times ever to the best times ever. Three years ago I found out he was having a relationship with someone else for 2 years behind my back. Of course I kicked him out and he stayed with her for a few months until I somehow convinced myself to take him back.

At the time he also lost his job and was collecting unemployment so when he returned to my home I was picking up the slack for all the bills in our house as well as taking care of all of our son's needs. We bicker over everything; one little thing spirals into things that had nothing to do with the original argument and things get extremely nasty. He calls me the worst names imaginable including saying things like "I hope you die". You have no idea how damaging this is to hear especially after all I have given and forgave in our relationship.

He is currently working and has been for 6 months now and yet for the last, almost 3 years (a year separated, a year+ of unemployment and searching for a new job) I am still paying everything (well everything but the gas and electric). I pay rent and 1/2 the cable, all food shopping or he will go every once in a great blue moon to get the bare minimum and all expenses for our son unless he buys an outfit or shoes here and there.

While he was out on unemployment he received a large settlement approximately 12K and he never once asked if I needed money, never said I know you have racked up some credit bills let me help you, nothing.

Also a few years back he got into a little trouble with the IRS with his daughter's mother (from a previous relationship) as they both claimed her and he had to pay the money back - guess what our taxes three years ago right before I found out he had a girlfriend paid those off.

Also, once he was caught cheating he came back asking me to marry him and bought me a diamond ring. This was a secret for some time and now that it is out he has yet to speak another word of any kind of marriage. Needless to say I pay almost all of the bills (yes I have said this a few times), do all of the house chores - he will throw in a load of laundry here and there and said he did the laundry, but yet I fold and put away. He will iron his shirts for work, but mumble under his breath that I should be doing it. I cook every night - well not every night, but I make sure we have dinner and we are all feed.

To shine more light on the situation, his daughter that is now 17 years old wants nothing to do with him and hasn't for some time now. He hasn't paid support for as long as I have known him and when he is around her all he does is tells her what she is doing wrong and all this nonsense - he does this to our son too. He was raised as an only child by his father (who didn't have a great track record himself with women to say the least). To add wood to the fire he has hit me a few times or has grabbed me to the point of marks being left on me. He has broken things in the house (I have too at times).

I just hate being the one that is blamed for everything and I end up giving so much more into this so called relationship. I guess what I am trying to get at is can someone please tell me if I am thinking correctly and feeling like I am being taken advantage of? I could go on for days and please by no means I am saying I am perfect because no one is. I have my fault ones that yes I have a difficult time admitting, but I believe I deserve so much more in return at this point.


Answer Was this helpful? 1
October 2, 20140 found this helpful

I can understand that you needed to vent which always makes anybody feel better but, is there any need to ask for advice? I'm sure, you know that nobody is going to tell you to stay with him. Perhaps you are scared to go it alone, but really and truly, aren't you already going it alone?

Any financial input from him is being used by HIM anyway so he really isn't helping out at all. Trust me, I've been there, and the sense of relief that you are rid of him will more than make up for any contribution in any respect that he has ever made. This is your decision of course. If you want to be miserable with him, that's up to you. If you want to keep, or get back, your dignity, self respect and your self worth, then you know what you have to do.

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August 30, 20131 found this helpful

I live with my boyfriend, he owns the home so I didn't get a say in if it was affordable. However it's not bad either, but he lives there with his 2 kids, 10 and 11 years old. He would have to pay the mortgage anyways, it's not like I am taking up any space being that I share a room with him. Should I have to pay half the mortgage and utilities? How about food? My boyfriend thinks it's fair that I split that cost as well.

He makes almost twice as much as I do and has no bills what so ever. I'd like to get myself out of debt so we can have a future. I don't think it's fair I pay half of the food when I am only eating 1/4 of it, if that. I work through dinner hours and eat like a bird the rest of the time. His 2 kids eat twice as much as I can and my boyfriend eats 3 times as much as me. His food costs are astronomical.

Basically I took on a second job to do what he thinks is fair, but I am killing myself and he is saving money. Does any of that seem fair. How can I talk to him? I tried a couple of times and it almost resulted in our breaking up. He wants a girl who can pay half. I am almost positive he is looking at his benefit only.

By Brenda

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April 1, 20150 found this helpful

I can understand how money could be an issue. I came to this thread because I am moving in with my boyfriend and his 12 yr old son. First of all, I apologize for my bad English since I am french. :) 2nd. I hope you and your boyfriend found a resolution but from the situation you wrote about it does seem like he is very irrational and not acting out of love and compassion.

If he gets an amount from an ex to cover his kids it should go toward the 1/3 of the rent for his kids, their food and personals.

You should reasonably pay a 1/3 to a 1/2 of the rent or what it would cost between renting a room in a household you would want to live in or a 1 bedroom apartment of your own. (what ever you would have done single). 1/2 to a 1/3 telecommunication (internet, cable, telephone), 1/2 to a 1/3 utilities (gas, electricity) and your food/personal items.

***Those may change depending on how many dependents and their ages. 50GB added and higher internet speed cause of an addicted teenager on gaming changes monthly fees. :)

Once you start sharing money...BUDGET. Use online banking and make many accounts and sub accounts. 1 checking account each, 1 saving account each, 1 shared grocery and 1 utility/telecomm account, 1 vacation account, 1 miss/special account and move money around each week or 2 week depending on pays.

Have a jar and put 25-50$ each a week in it...Surprises and special supper, date nights come from there. Groupon, coupons and have a familycalendar. Plan meals and make activities.

Then, for example, who ever does the groceries can take from that account. If there is ever any left over...every end of the month move it to another shared account or split the savings 1/2 and 1/2. :)

If one person makes more than the other, hopefully they are generous and treat the other to surprises, pretty things and if they feel obliged cover more % of the bills or add to shared savings/trips accounts.

If one party own the house or pay a mortgage alone, I do think they should give you a discount on the rent until your name is on the deed or you pay a mortgage because they are investing towards their future with that money invested. There is always marriage to share everything. :)

I guess I answered my own questions. If money breaks many relationship, taking care of it early and fairly will only but be positive in my future.

Only when both parties feel safe and secure will a relationship work. The basic need of shelter and the eventual sharing of it will always take some work towards a comfortable homestead with another.

~Benjamin Lauzon

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1 found this helpful
March 30, 2010

My boyfriend of three years moved in with me a little over a year ago due to loss of a job in his city and him finding one in mine. I have two daughters that are 18 and 21 and still live with me. He buys groceries from week to week and spends about $300 - $400 a month but has not offered to pay any rent or utilities.

How should I approach him to share in these expenses too as he is living with us full time? The house is only in my name. Thanks.

By Robin from New Orleans, LA

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April 2, 20100 found this helpful
Best Answer

You really need to know what the monthly expenses total before you can approach him. That includes everything you pay for and everything he pays for. And to be fair, keep in mind that if you break up, the house is still yours so I wouldn't try to make him pay for a full half of your mortgage. You need to come up with something fair for the living expenses you both share.

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January 14, 20141 found this helpful

I am 47, divorced, with two teenagers and still reside in the house that my ex and I own. We are co owners, as the judge ordered me to stay in the house. My ex pays me alimony and child support.

I have been dating a guy for almost 6 years. He wants to get married, but I would lose alimony and my boyfriend does not make a consistent living. He owns his own home, but has rented it out to stay with me. He also has 2 younger kids who come here to stay once a month for 3 days and all holidays. He has his own tree business so his finances are up and down depending on work.

I originally did not ask him for money because he always just made enough to make ends meet. In the last few years though he has agreed to give me $500 a month for expenses. I pay out almost $3000 a month with lake dues.

I always struggle to make ends meet and I get really resentful at times when I don't think things are fair. For example, he went to the Caribbean to do a divemaster internship last year to better himself and possibly get a job in the islands; for both of our futures. I agreed. Just this past Christmas he bought himself another gun (6 now) and I don't even spend the money to get my hair colored and cut. Sometimes he threatens me to just go back and live in his own house. I don't ask him to pay half of the mortgage because he will get no benefit when it is sold.

I am just not sure what is fair anymore and when I bring things up to discuss he just gets mad. He loves me very much and wants to get married, but financially I thought it best to wait until the kids are out of the house. Again I am 47, he is 46, and he does help with things around the house, wood for heating, fixing things, etc., but sometimes that is a chore because he doesn't want to put too much effort in for no reward. Help. Please. What is fair to expect?

By Kim

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January 16, 20140 found this helpful

You've wasted 6 years of your life on this bum! Kick him out! You may find he isn't that easy to get rid of! He is full of it. He thinks you need him far more than you actually do! You will find a way to get wood, cut back somewhere else to buy wood. His repairs around the house you can do with a little Youtube tutoring. I think you depend on him more than you love him. You are scared without him... be strong. Do not get yourself deeper into this situation that you need out of desperately!

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0 found this helpful
October 29, 2016

She: My friend is living with me, we are both retired and living in my house. My house expenses for mortgage and utilities are around $1000 per month. I feel that he should contribute $500 per month. My contention is that if he wasn't living here it would cost him minimally $500 per month for a place to live which would not include the furnishings he has here. He feels that this is my house and therefore my investment. He is willing to pay the utilities which fluctuate from $200 to $400 per month. As a side note he has 5x the financial assets I do. I buy furnishings and other things for the house that make both our lives more comfortable. I do have 2 renters that have minimally impacted my water bill. It costs the same to heat and cool the house whether they live here or not.

He: I own a house in Florida, but I have been mostly staying here with my friend for the last three or so months. I have been paying all of the utilities and we split groceries. There are two renters here and one utility bill. When my friend and I go out I usually pick up the tab. My feeling is I should pay absolutely all the costs of me being here plus some extras, but I don't understand why I should pay for expenses that would exist whether I was living here or not.

Please weigh in on this and give us your opinion. We have reached a brick wall on this topic! Hopefully your insights will help us resolve or me to let the whole issue go.

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October 30, 20160 found this helpful

There are no easy or quick answers to your situation. The living arrangement and financial information you both have provided here is not thorough enough for even a professional financial counselor to provide guidance and answers to your concerns. There are also many other considerations and legal concerns that should be addressed.

I strongly suggest that you both see an attorney in your area to consider the possible and probable financial, legal and other issues that you need to address. You may need to meet with several attorneys before choosing the best professional to work with you. Keep in mind that you are looking for an attorney that is specialized in your personal and financial questions to clarify all issues and develop a legal and financial contract to address all concerns.

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February 5, 20150 found this helpful

I've been with my boyfriend for 2 1/2 years. I have two boys that live with us and he has a daughter that stays 3 days out of the week. 6 months ago he quit a well paying job because he said he wanted to see his daughter more and go to school. Well he never went to school and now he works 30 hours a week at a minimum wage job. His child support was never lowered (and won't be ) because he quit. So more than half of his income goes to child support. He basically has money to get back and forth to work until he get paid again. Which means I'm paying all food, bills, and rent. On top of this he got a new car before deciding to quit his new job so I'm paying his car note and insurance. Would I be wrong to tell him he needs to get a new job so that he can make ends meet? I honestly feel like im doing everything myself. Please help!

By dm

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February 8, 20150 found this helpful

P.S. Sounds like this arrangement may have been planned ahead of time on his part since he purchased his car shortly before voluntarily quitting his job.

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June 25, 2015

My boyfriend wants to move in with me. We have been dating for over a year, we have had many disagreements ranging from exs to finances. If he moves in, he doesn't want to pay 1/2 of utilities since I currently receive child support. Is this fair? Am I expecting too much from him?

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June 28, 20150 found this helpful

If he isn't willing to pay 1/2 the utilities you might have problems getting him to pay other bills which would be 1/2 his responsibility. Don't do it unless you get counseling first or a long talk about sharing responsibilities.

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March 5, 20150 found this helpful

This could end our relationship. It's been over a year now since my bf of 2years got his own apt. He "stayed" with me about 6 months prior to getting his own place because he wasn't ready financially. But for over a year now he works full time and makes more money than me. He has an 8 year old daughter for whom he pays $600 a month in child support and his rent is about $500 less than mine. He literally eats, sleeps, watches TV, is on my wifi, and bathes at my home 25 days out of the month. He's got his kid every other weekend only, so he only goes to his apartment those few days he has her. But then he's right back at my place after work using the wifi, watching TV, eating food, taking a shower, etc. Also I rent a house, so I pay for water, electric, and gas. He also will wash his clothes at my place, but has a laundry room at his apartment complex. He will put in $$ on the groceries, but says because he has his own place and pays rent there, that he shouldn't have to help at my place. Am I crazy, or is that bs? He's taking advantage and not even cleaning up or doing things around my house that justifies him to free-load. I also have a 14 year old son, and am a single mom. I get no child support and his father hasn't been in my son's life for 13+ years. What's your advice? I don't think we can be in a relationship anymore, I feel so used.

By Emma

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March 8, 20150 found this helpful

It is very easy to be critical of a situation when only its negative aspects are shared. At the end of the day, however, internet opinions can't be there to make you smile, make you breakfast, or rub your feet with "magic hands" after a long stressful day.

There are, indeed, some areas which need improvement but you should decide for yourself whether or not it would be better to build with someone who loves you enough make changes for you or just walk away for good

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February 18, 20150 found this helpful

My boyfriend moved into my apartment in 2010. He had agreed to pay his ex wife $ 2000.00 a month. I was not involved in this amount. I had my 2 daughters living with me in a 2 bedroom apartment. His 2 boys would come over every weekend. Since he paid out so much to her I didn't push the issue.

In 2011 he purchased a house in his name. He was to pay 1600.00 of the mortgage and I pay 864.00. At the time his take home was 4000.00. He was giving 2000.00 to her at first and then lowered it to 1600.00. So take the 1600.00 + 1600.00 = 3200.00. He also had a truck payment of 500.00 so we are at 3700.00, and a trailer payment of 132.00. So he is at 3832.00; that leaves 170.00. I am left paying for everything else. I mean everything, including all the food his boys eat every weekend. He still thinks that he does it all, he always says that he pays for everything and is rude and nasty to my kids.

So here is where I am at, he keeps telling me to get out and that he will put my stuff on the front lawn. Can he do that when I have been paying part of his mortgage? I am going to move out, but since I pay for everything else it is hard to save the money. I want to make sure my stuff and my kids' stuff is secure until I can move out. Do I need to have the police present?

By le

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February 21, 20150 found this helpful

I think you also need to see a lawyer about this situation, or perhaps there is some sort of legal aid/help line you can contact. All of the other posters say you have no rights because you had no written agreement and were not married, but that may not be the case. Here in Saskatchewan, Canada, people who co-habit as spouses for over 2 years have all the legal rights with regard to property as people who are married. Even before this law was passed, there were cases where women who lived common law were given property rights because they contributed to the home. You certainly contributed financially, and hopefully you can prove it.

I would certainly get out as soon as you can; you will be surprised how friends and family rally round when you need them. If you don't have any locally, than you must seek out agencies for help. By all means, discuss the issue with the police if you think your partner will make trouble. But, first, I think you need to see a lawyer.

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0 found this helpful
August 4, 2015

My girlfriend and I have been together for three years. She rents an apartment and I own a house, but it is in foreclosure. I stay with her 3 to 4 days a week because I want to spend time with her. I help out with food and other things. How much rent should I pay her and how much for utilities?

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