The matrimonial home is a unique consideration when dividing the assets at the end of a marriage. By law, both spouses have equal rights of possession, and both parties are prevented from selling or mortgaging the home without the other’s permission. Preferably, the parties will come to an agreement with respect to who should remain in the home, or agree to dispose of the property and distribute the proceeds. This will typically form part of a separation agreement, formally documenting the spouses’ agreed upon terms regarding the home.
If the parties have difficulty coming to an agreement with respect to who should remain in the property, one party may seek an order for exclusive possession against the other. It is important to note that the courts do not make this order lightly, as it can prejudice the party forced to leave the home.
The family law lawyers at Mills & Mills LLP understand the significance of determining how to handle the matrimonial home, and we work with our clients in an effort to negotiate a plan that works for all parties. In some circumstances, mediation, arbitration or litigation may become necessary in order to deal with the property. Should this be the case, we have decades of experience representing our clients’ interests in these situations. It is important that clients obtain advice from experienced professionals as early as possible in order to be informed of their rights, and how their decisions early on can greatly impact their rights later.
Ordinarily, the entire value of a matrimonial home is divided evenly between spouses when calculating the net family property in order to determine the equalization payment. This applies even in situations where one spouse owned the property prior to the marriage. However, it is possible for the parties to include terms in a marriage contract that will allow the value of the home to be deducted from this calculation, therefore protecting the spouse who brought the property into the marriage from having to divide its value in the event of separation.
Our clients trust in our ability to explain their rights and obligations in a separation or a divorce, and appreciate our professional and personalized service. To benefit from our experience and knowledge with respect to the matrimonial home as part of a separation or divorce, or for advice and assistance to protect the value of a home brought into the relationship by way of marriage contract or cohabitation agreement, please contact us at 416-863-0125 or send us an email.