Reclaim The Money You're Owed After A Breakup

Author: Christina De Palma | | Categories: Christina De Palma , legal representation , personal property , separation , unpaid funds


Breaking up is hard to do, but what can be even more difficult is being repaid for any money you might have lent during the relationship. In Canada, the law requires repayment of any money loaned between partners during the relationship. If a breakup occurs, the person who owes money has an obligation to pay their former partner back.

This process can be difficult to handle on your own, especially if money was lent for necessary household expenses.

What Is The Law In Canada About Money Lent Between Partners During A Relationship?

Canadian law treats the exchange of funds between partners as loans unless otherwise explicitly proven as a gift, something the court will require clear evidence for.

The precedence found in Pecore v. Pecore, 2007 1 S.C.R. 795 reads:

“The presumption of resulting trust is a rebuttable presumption of law and general rule that applies to gratuitous transfers.  When a transfer is challenged, the presumption allocates the legal burden of proof.  Thus, where a transfer is made for no consideration, the onus is placed on the transferee to demonstrate that a gift was intended: see Waters’ Law of Trusts, at p. 375, and E. E. Gillese and M. Milczynski, The Law of Trusts (2nd ed. 2005), at p. 110.  This is so because equity presumes bargains, not gifts.”

Additionally, further similar language can be found within the case Colangelo v. Amore, 2010 ONSC 5657

Canadian Law States The Difference Between Loans And Gifts

By examining the case of Walker v. Farsijani, 2021 ONSC 5571, it states there are:

"Three requirements are [sic] necessary to establish a valid gift inter vivos:

(i) an intention to donate;
(ii) a sufficient act of delivery; and
(iii) acceptance of the gift"

Furthermore, it continues that "common-law relationships or romantic friendships do not give rise to a presumption of gift", by quoting the precedent of Zachariadis Estate v. Giannopoulos, 2019 ONSC 6505, 2019 CanLII 6505.

Can Anything Be Done To Make It Easier To Repay Money Lent Between Partners During A Relationship Breakup?

One way to make it easier to retrieve the money lent during a relationship is to draw up an informal agreement between you and your previous partner. This agreement can be used as evidence in court should the need arise, and can help to prevent any misunderstanding or conflict down the road about what precisely is owed and the timeframe of being paid.

If you are unable to come to an agreement with your former partner, you may need to take legal action.

We're You're Most Effective Choice

By working with our full-service team of paralegals, we can help you through the process of reclaiming everything you're owed from the relationship after a breakup through Small Claims Court, whether it’s money or physical items. We'll guide you through the necessary steps and paperwork, and represent you in court if we can't come to a satisfactory agreement with your former partner outside of court.

Our consultations are always free and there's never any obligation to move forward - we truly wish to let you know your legal options. So, let's get started today.

Know the rules. Know your rights. Solid advice.

Wasaga Beach and Barrie Office:
Phone: (705) 429-2401

Orillia Office:
Phone: (705) 909-0805


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