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A wealthy Toronto businessman is on the hook to pay his ex-girlfriend more than $50,000 a month for the next 10 years after a court determined they were long-time spouses despite never being married and never living together.

Michael Latner, a reported multi-millionaire, was in a relationship with List Climans for 14 years. Latner was a divorced father of three while Climans was a separated mother of two when they began their romantic relationship in October 2001, the National Post reported. Throughout their 14-year relationship, the couple lived in separate homes, but would regularly stay over at each other’s houses. They also went on vacation together, and Latner showered Climans with expensive gifts, including a 7.5-carat diamond ring and other jewelry. He also gave Climans “thousands of dollars each month, a credit card, [and] paid off her mortgage,” the Post reported. Climans reportedly quit her job and would sleep at Latner’s house often.

The two had their own bank accounts and never bought property together, nor did they have any children together.

Latner proposed to Climans several times—and she accepted. They were never married due to his request that she sign a marriage contract, which she refused.

When the relationship ended in May 2015, Climans went to court to be recognized as Latner’s spouse and demand he pay her spousal support. Latner, according to the Post, argued that Climans had been his “travel companion and girlfriend, nothing more.” He argued they were never spouses, and he didn’t owe her any support.

After an eight-day trial, Superior Court Justice Sharon Shore ruled that Latner and Climans were, in fact, long-time spouses and that Latner should pay Climans $53,077 a month indefinitely. Shore ruled that even though the couple maintained separate homes, they spent part of the summer together at Latner’s cottage and stayed together in Florida for winter vacations. That was enough to determine cohabitation.

As the Post reported, under “Ontario law, an unmarried couple are considered common-law spouses if they have cohabited — lived together in a conjugal relationship — continuously for at least three years. But that doesn’t necessarily mean living in the same home, the court found.”

Latner appealed the decision, but it was upheld, with one change: He would only have to pay Climans $53,077 a month for the next 10 years.

“Lack of a shared residence is not determinative of the issue of cohabitation,” the Appeal Court ruled, according to the Post. “There are many cases in which courts have found cohabitation where the parties stayed together only intermittently.”

The higher court used Shore’s analysis and concluded she was correct that the couple was considered to have cohabitated even though they weren’t married, didn’t own a home together, and only stayed with each other for part of the year. The Appeal Court did determine that Shore erred when she determined that the couple met the threshold for indefinite spousal support, ruling that the couple didn’t start this “cohabitation” as early in the relationship as Shore ruled.

  • TRUMP 2020 says:


  • Michael says:

    Compete bullshit! You are not spouses unless you are married, period! He should be able to sue the fucking judge!

    • solange Silverman says:

      Ever hear of common law?

      • Mary says:

        They never lived together. And you know she was a scam artist when she refused to sign the pre-nup

        • kodster says:

          Doesn’t matter. In some states, you cohabitate for 6 months, you’re considered a common-law relationship. Kentucky is one of those states, and I believe Florida is even less, so the fact that they went to Florida as snowbirds, and stayed in the same house together, would qualify as common-law marriage. The article does state that it was determined that they would vacation in Florida over the winter, together, several times during their relationship. If you’re recognized as common-law in one state, the rest of the states have to recognize the relationship as such.

          Now, it’s up to the couple to decide how they’re going to split up. I was common-law with the same man for 23 years, starting in California, then Texas, and then in Kentucky, as he moved on ahead of me, and then begged me to follow him to the new location. ALL the states recognized our relationship as common-law. But we never filed for divorce, nor settled for anything. I walked away from it all, as he was no longer interested in maintaining the relationship (adultery on his part, and then I did it, too, realizing he was no longer faithful to me), so it was a mutual separation. He owned the house, my name wasn’t on the deed, even though he made an unfulfilled promise to put my name on the deed. I could’ve sued him for it, but decided it wasn’t worth the pain. I moved on with my life. That’s the difference between us and this couple.

          The woman quit her job, expecting to be supported by her boyfriend who had proposed to her, but when he put a condition on it, to protect HIS assets from her, she chose not to do it. That’s her choice, just as it was mine not to go after my common-law husband for his assets. This was obviously something they agreed to, that she wouldn’t have to work, and then they break up, he’s no longer supporting her as agreed to. She went after him for that broken promise.

  • Evangeline says:

    Sin has it’s consequences.

  • Jon Wisdom says:

    There was no intent to be married as is the common law marriages in states that allow it here. What about the fact that the reason they were not married was that she wouldn’t sign the pre-nuptial agreement? If the courts up there want to infer marriage, the courts should infer the pre-nuptial agreement was part of that marriage.

  • Mike says:

    And people wonder why lawyers and judges are despised.

  • MAC says:

    She knew he was wealthy and shorter than she. She used this desperate millionaire for 10 years. Now you might realize how many women are still single….

  • CF