Division of property during a legal separation and divorce quickly becomes complex, especially in situations where there is hostility, anger, hurt, and other emotions during the separation and divorce proceedings. Davies Law Firm is very experienced in assisting people to obtain a fair settlement and division of property upon separation. At Davies Law Firm we will make your interests are protected and you are treated fairly, either inside or outside of the court system.
Division of Property for Married Couples
The Ontario Family Law Act details the specific rules in regards to division of property between married couples, including same-sex couples, who were legally married. There are two main parts to the division of property laws. The first part has to do with all property acquired during the marriage, but does not include the matrimonial home. The laws regarding the matrimonial home are contained in the second part.
The division of matrimonial property, excluding the matrimonial home, uses a specific formula to determine the net value. Basically, the value of all property acquired from the date of marriage until the date of separation is added up. Next, all debts equally shared between the parties are subtracted from the total property value to determine the net property value. However, there are certain exclusions and exceptions in regards to certain debts and types of property that are not included in this process, such as property owned individually before the marriage, inheritances and gifts from third parties. If there is a prenuptial agreement in effect, any property listed in the agreement, including a matrimonial home brought into the marriage, is excluded from this process.
The matrimonial home is considered to be a joint asset, whether or not it is owned by one party or both. The matrimonial home is the home in which both parties were living as of the date of separation. Sometimes, one parent can remain in the matrimonial home until more suitable accommodations are found. Then, the home can be sold and the proceeds divided. Another option is for one person to retain the home and buy out the other person’s interest in the property. If there are children involved, then the court will consider what arrangement is best for them.
Parties have an option to go through a mediation process where the mediator acts as intermediary and lawyers present what each party is proposing for a division of property. It is preferable to attempt to come to an amicable agreement rather than leave it in the hands of the court. In the event there are few items that the parties cannot agree upon, then the court will make a ruling. In either situation, Davies Law Firm will provide the legal expertise to guide you to a successful resolution of the issues.
Division of Property for Common Law Couples
Division of property laws is different for unmarried and common law couples. Many people believe that if you live together for a period of time, that you acquire property rights the same as if you were married. This is not true. The legal system recognizes situations where the couple has been together for a length of time and one or both parties may have property rights. The process to divide property is a complex process and involves filing constructive and resulting trust claims not under statute but based on precedent and the concept of unjust enrichment. If you were cohabitating and the relationship ends, it is best to consult with a lawyer with Davies Law Firm to determine whether you have any property rights.
To learn more about division of property laws or to schedule a consultation appointment, contact Davies Law Firm today at 613-688-0462.