Handling Complex Asset and Property Division Cases in the Mississauga Area
Every divorce is as unique as the couple involved. If you are going through a divorce, you need experienced legal guidance to help ensure that your rights are well protected. At Amiri Family Law in Mississauga, Ontario, we take a personalized approach to divorce, and we will work closely with you in order to obtain the division of matrimonial property to which you are entitled. Our experienced family and divorce lawyers are committed to listening to your concerns and to you feeling truly heard throughout the divorce process.
Understanding Property & Asset Division in Ontario
Property and asset division refers to the division of matrimonial property in a divorce. Matrimonial property means virtually every asset that the couple amasses in the course of their marriage – from the date of marriage to the date of separation. These assets also include any increases in value of property that either spouse brings into the marriage. Matrimonial property can include a wide variety of assets:
- Real estate, including the matrimonial home, vacation properties, and investment properties
- Stocks and bonds
- Registered retirement savings plans (RRSPs)
- Pension plans
These represent the basics, but because every couples’ financial portfolio is unique to their own circumstances, the list can go on and on.
The Matrimonial Home
To qualify as a matrimonial home, at least one of the spouses must have an ownership interest in the house and it must have served as the family’s residence. A house, a condo, a vacation property, or even a combination of these dwellings can qualify as a matrimonial home if the family ordinarily used it as a family residence. Once a dwelling is established as matrimonial property (unless explicitly addressed in a domestic contract such as a prenuptial agreement) – even if one spouse brought the house into the marriage – the entire value of the home is factored into the couple’s matrimonial property and not just any increase in its value.
Matrimonial Property: How It’s Divided
The term property and asset division is misleading because the property and assets can’t actually be divided in any practical sense. Instead, each spouse’s net worth is calculated for the date they officially separated, which is also known as the valuation date. If either divorcing spouse has personal property that has increased in value, this increase is referred to as the individual’s net family property (the property that is divvied up in the division of matrimonial property). Finally, the spouse with the greater net family property will make an equalizing payment to his or her spouse in the course of the divorce. The amount paid is typically 50 percent of the difference between both spouses’ individual net family properties.
What about Common-Law Spouses?
Things are a bit different for partners in common law marriages because they don’t have the automatic property rights that their married peers do. Nevertheless, spouses of common-law marriages can – under specific conditions – claim a constructive interest in the property to attempt to correct any unjust enrichment of their common-law partners. For instance, if one partner to a common-law marriage owns a home and the other partner significantly contributes to running and taking care of that home over many years while enabling the homeowner to succeed financially, the contributing partner may be entitled to a percentage of the home’s value.
Contact an Mississauga Property Division Lawyer for a Free Consultation
If you are considering a divorce and have concerns about the division of your property and assets, the dedicated legal team at Amiri Family Law is here to help. Our experienced divorce lawyers have the skill, knowledge, and compassion to help protect your rights and to explore your best options with you. We have offices that are conveniently located in Mississauga, Oakville, and Burlington, Ontario, and we’re available 24/7. For more information, please schedule a free consultation by contacting or calling us at 647-792-2961 today.
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