How do my spouse and I divide property?
As mentioned in a separate Resources Post, in Ontario, property is not divided, but rather a payment is made for the value of the difference between the net property each spouse accumulates during the marriage. This payment is called an equalization payment.
While the court normally does not force one spouse to transfer property directly to another spouse, one exception to that rule is pensions, where the court can order a pension company to pay an amount directly to another spouse, usually to a LIRA that spouse sets up.
In a negotiated settlement, often spouses do make trade-offs that involve actual transfers of property. For example, one spouse may buy the other spouse’s interest in the matrimonial home. Another scenario is where the family has two properties, and one takes on one property and the other spouse takes the second property.
Other than these exceptions, property issues are settled by a payment from one spouse to the other. The property payment is separate from other issues like child support and spousal support. Property division is a complex area of family law. In addition, a property payment cannot be changed based on a material change in circumstances in the same way child and spousal support can. Therefore, it is important to ensure the property calculations are done correctly. To find out about your rights and get advice specific to your situation, contact a divorce lawyer at Modern Family Law LLP. Call us at 647-DIVORCE or use the contact form to schedule a free 15-minute phone or Zoom consult.