At the end of a relationship, decisions need to be made about how to divide the family property. If you are married, family law in Ontario provides rules and a formula for how to divide your family property.
If you are in a common law relationship that is ending, there are no rules for how to divide family property. In most cases, each common law spouse keeps whatever assets and debts are in their own name, and joint property is divided equally.
For married couples, the law provides a framework for how to divide property at the end of a marriage. This framework is called the Net Family Property calculation. This calculation attempts to divide the wealth accumulated during the marriage equally between both spouses. The calculation determines what is owed by one spouse to the other spouse to make sure both spouses benefitted equally from the marriage. The amount owed is called the Equalization Payment.
Family property divided at the end of a marriage usually includes all assets and debts accumulated during the marriage including your home, bank accounts, pensions, investments, and even property held in other countries. There are very few exceptions to what is considered family property in family law.
In most cases, when a common law couple separates, each spouse keeps whatever assets and debts they own and joint property is divided equally between spouses. Sometimes however, dividing property based on ownership can lead to unfair results. If you feel that you are not getting a fair share of your family property, or if your common law spouse says they think they are entitled to a share of your property, call us to make sure you get the information you need about your family law rights and obligations. We would be happy to talk to you about how to protect your property and make sure property is divided fairly between you and your common law spouse.
You need to know your family law rights and obligations so that you can make good decisions about how to protect your property and to make sure your property is shared fairly at the end of your relationship. At Morgan and Phillips LLP, our family law experts will provide you with direction and advice you need to protect your property and your rights.