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DIVISION OF PROPERTY IN ONTARIO
Property Division for Married Couples
Under Ontario family law, any property acquired or earned by either party during the marriage – with some specific exceptions – is to be shared equally. While the division of family property aims to provide each spouse with an equal share of the net value of all applicable family property, the way that property is divided can take many forms. For example, a spouse with higher net family property could make an equalization payment to the other or one spouse may receive the home while the other receives the business. It is important to specifically note the date of the separation in order to ensure proper equalization of net family property.
Inheritances and gifts from third parties are usually excluded and belong to the acquiring spouse. In some instances, damages from personal injury actions remain exempt property and not subject to division. It is essential to make sure that a spouse’s separate property does not lose that status though comingling or by being transmuted into a matrimonial home.
Property Division for Common-Law Couples
Keep in mind that equalization provisions of the Family Law Act do not apply to unmarried common-law couples. Nevertheless, where one partner has contributed financially or otherwise to property owned by the other, he or she may be able to claim an equitable interest in such property based on unjust enrichment, under a constructive trust doctrine.
How We Can Help
Division of marital property varies drastically from one couple to the next. In his practice as a family lawyer, Ivan Steele has helped numerous clients in all aspects of their divorce, from the initial consultation to the separation and finally a divorce. We can help you calculate your property entitlements, settle your family property disputes and help you protect your financial future. Independent legal advice from an experienced family law lawyer is a crucial element in achieving a long lasting solution to the family property division.
If you are contemplating a divorce, contact our Toronto property division lawyer to ensure that your rights and your property are protected.