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Property Division

How is property divided upon marriage breakdown?

Upon marriage breakdown, parties in Ontario are free to divide their property any way they choose. However, if they cannot agree on how property is to be divided, then the court will use a formula to determine the issue. The formula involves “equalizing the net family properties” of the parties. The net result is a payment from one party to the other (the “equalization payment”). Once the equalization payment is made, any property accumulated by the parties during the marriage will have effectively been split equally. There are some important exceptions so if you are involved in a property division case, it is important to consult with a family law lawyer.

What are my rights to division of property if I am not married?

In Ontario, only married parties are entitled to apply to the court to divide their net family properties. If an unmarried party wants to claim an interest in the property of his or her ex partner, then that party must make such a claim using a constructive and/or resulting trust. Because trust law is complex, you should consult with a family law lawyer if you are unmarried and want to claim an interest in your ex partner’s property.

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