When a marriage ends, the equal contribution of each person to the marriage is recognized. The law provides that the value of property acquired by the spouses during the marriage and still exists at separation must be divided equally between the spouses. Also, any increase in the value of property owned by a spouse at the date of marriage must be shared. The payment that may be owed by one spouse to the other in order to effect this sharing is called an equalization payment. The process of determining an equalization payment is the equalization of net family property.
There are some exceptions to these rules. Excluded property, including gifts or inheritances received during the marriage from someone other than a spouse, is generally not included in the value of the parties' property for the purposes of equalization, provided that the gifts or inheritances were not used towards the matrimonial home.
The provisions of the Family Law Act relating to equalization of net family property apply only to married spouses. If you are in a common law relationship, you are not entitled to an equalization payment, but may be entitled to a payment from your spouse to pay you back for a direct or indirect contribution to property that he or she owns. These claims are known as trust claims.
Effective January 1, 2012, legislative changes to the Family Law Act and the Pension Benefits Act made it easier for couples to value and divide pension assets following marriage break down in Ontario.
As of January I, 2012, pension plan members who have to pay their former spouse a settlement based on the value of their pension plan would be able to make some or all of the payment from the pension plan itself. The pension plan administrator is generally responsible for valuing the pension plan so that the spouses do not have to hire an actuary to do this for them.
The new rules also apply to unmarried spouses if they agree to share the value of the pension plan following separation.
The family home is a special place. It is where you live and where your children feel most comfortable. It is your own home. It is often the most valuable thing you own.
If you are married, both of you have an equal right to stay in your home unless a Judge orders otherwise.
Under the Family Law Act, neither married spouse can sell or mortgage a matrimonial home without the other spouse's permission or Order of the Court. This is true even if only one of you owns the home.
When married spouses separate, both parties may wish to stay in the matrimonial home. If the parties cannot agree on who will stay in the matrimonial home, the parties can use lawyers, a mediator or an arbitrator to help them decide or they may have to go to Court to have a Judge decide. An Order or agreement for exclusive possession allows one spouse to live in the matrimonial home and not the other.
The best interests of the children is a significant factor in determining whether an Order for exclusive possession of the matrimonial home will be made. The parent with whom the children are residing may seek exclusive possession of the matrimonial home because it allows the children to remain in familiar surroundings and to be close to friends and school.
Regardless of which areas of family law you are looking for assistance with, Chris will help you secure the best possible outcome for your case and for your family.
For over 40 years Genesee Martin have been helping their valued clients fight for their rights. If you want to schedule a confidential consultation, you can get in touch with Genesee Martin Associates today at 905-522-7066.