Property

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At separation, there may be a payment owing between spouses to divide their property.

Property

Who gets what when you separate?

In Ontario, the Family Law Act sets out the rules for dividing property. The term “property” may include a variety of items, such as:

  • your home
  • furniture and other contents of your home
  • other real estate
  • a business or a share in one (incorporated or not)
  • pensions from employment
  • stock options
  • Canada Pension credits
  • RRSPs and investments
  • bank accounts
  • cash

With some limited exceptions, the spouse with a higher net worth pays an “equalization” to the spouse with a lower net worth, on separation. Net worth that you brought into your marriage is not divided, unless it is a matrimonial home on the date of separation. Inherited funds can be excluded from net worth under certain conditions.

The equalization model under the Family Law Act means that married couples share net worth acquired together.

The law in Ontario treats common law spouses differently than married spouses when it comes to dividing assets. On separation, common law partners keep property in his or her own name. In some cases, a common law spouse may have a legal interest in property owned by the other. This requires a case by case analysis.

Complexities often arise in dividing up property. These can include obtaining full financial disclosure, valuing assets such as a pension and applying discounts for future contingent liabilities. Our skilled family lawyers will navigate property issues in clear, informative way. Clients are empowered to make the best decisions about dividing assets.

Our Practising Lawyers
Alison Dennis

My practice encompasses all areas of family law including complex property and support issues, parenting disputes, separation agreements, marriage contracts, and cohabitation agreements.  I also have significant experience with jurisdictional and mobility issues.

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Alison Dennis

Sharyn Langon

I have 30 years’ experience helping clients move beyond separation towards a better life. It can be a daunting time. Apart from questions about the law, clients ask: Where do I start? Will my kids adjust? Where will I live? What will my finances look like? How can I negotiate with my spouse when we are not on great terms? When will I be divorced? How long will this all take? How much will it cost?

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Sharyn Langon

Alin Mayer

I focus my law practice exclusively in family law. I have particular expertise in litigation, serving high-net worth individuals with complex assets or compensation, as well as international clients. I strive towards efficient and long-lasting resolutions for my clients, while aiming to reduce the anxiety inherent in family law disputes.

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Alin Mayer

Katelynn Schoop

I practice exclusively family law and help clients with smart, practical, and effective solutions tailored to each family. I work efficiently and focused on a positive outcome, whether in negotiations or in litigation. I understand the importance of clear communication in a family law matter and make sure that my clients are involved in each step of the process. I have experience in all types of family law processes, including negotiations, court, and collaborative divorce and offer my clients a wide range of options to choose from.

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Katelynn Schoop

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