Doctor Love: Stuck

Sunday, May 8th, 2016

Readers, please send your letters. They can be emails, formal letters or handwritten notes. They are edited solely for grammar and spelling. Also, they are sometimes edited for length.Dr-Love

Dear Doctor Love,
I have been living in Belize for nearly five months. I met a lady soon after I got here and we had a brief relationship but I could tell from the first that it was not going to last. It’s not that I am looking for something permanent but I do like the idea of having a steady girlfriend. Four weeks ago I met a Belizean girl and we went out altogether five times. Two weeks later she showed up on my doorstep with a suitcase. She said that she can’t afford to stay in her apartment anymore and she wants to stay with me. It is either that or she has to move back to the mainland. I told her that she is welcome to stay with me a couple of weeks until she finds something else. So far she hasn’t even been looking for another place. She seems to have settled in quite nicely in mine. She cooks and washes clothes and generally makes herself useful around the place. To be honest it is kind of nice having her around the house. Now, a friend of mine is telling me to be careful. He says she is trying to get her hooks into me. According to him if she lives with me for even a short time she can claim common-law marriage. She will have rights just like a wife so if she gets pregnant I will have to pay alimony and child support. Also, she is entitled to a share of my property if we split. This shakes me up. The last thing I want is to get married. Is what my friend tells me true? How can I get rid of her with the least bit of bother?
/s/ Stuck

Dear Stuck
Your friend should have been a lawyer because he understands the basics of common law quite well. And yes, he is probably right about your relationship. It sounds like she is playing a game that has been around since Eve moved in with Adam, set up housekeeping and got pregnant.
Getting rid of her might be as easy as stopping two pit bulls from fighting. When one of those bulldogs gets his bite locked up you have to pry his jaws apart with a crowbar. The longer you let them go the harder it is to get them apart. Getting rid of her will be just about as easy. If you ever get her out of the door, change the locks immediately.

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