EQUALIZATION & DIVISION OF PROPERTY LAWYER PICKERING
Under the Ontario Family Law Act, divorced or separated partners are entitled to an equalization of their net family properties. The person with the higher net worth pays to the other, half the difference in their networth.
At a consultation with AP Lawyers we start by reviewing any marriage contracts to determine its validity.
If there is no marriage contract, we go over what would be required in calculating the parties’ net family property. We pay attention to assets and liabilities that existed on the date of marriage as well as properties such as gifts, inheritance and life insurance proceeds which can be excluded from the net family property.
We consider the length of the marriage. If it is less than 5 years, we review the facts in each case to see if equalization would be unconscionable. If it is likely that a case would meet the stringent test of unconscionability, we consider how much, if any, equalization should be paid.
When dividing your family property after divorce or separation, the value of an experienced family law lawyer cannot be overstated. Otherwise, you may find out too late that you overpaid, or that you were short-changed. Neither situation is ideal.
We make sure you get the benefit of every applicable exclusion and deduction. We consider the tax implications for each asset. We ensure each party’s assets are properly valued. We listen and pay attention to the details to identify unusual assets that could otherwise have been missed.
1) M. v. A.
M and A cohabited for 33 months and married for 18 months. There were factors in the case that justified a departure from the usual 50 – 50 division of net family properties. AP Lawyers applied every possible deduction to reduce M’s net family property. AP Lawyers also got a 70 – 30 split of the net family property in M’s favour.
2) W. v. E.
In W v. E, the parties were married for 23 years but the relationship was a tumultuous one. The central issue here was the date of separation as it significantly impacted the equalization payment payable by W to E.
We were able to show that though W and E were still married and living together in the matrimonial home, they were living separate and apart for the last 3 years. The effect of this was a $500,000+ saving to W for the growth in her assets (mostly stock options) in the last 3 years.
3) T. v. R.
T retained us following the end of her 6 year marriage to R. Both parties had counsel and detailed financial statements were prepared. The main issue here was despite being represented by counsel, R still wanted to receive a deduction for the value of the matrimonial home which he owned for several years and had paid off the mortgage just before marriage.
T and R did not enter into a marriage contract.
Ultimately, T got half the full value of the matrimonial home as there was no reason in law to justify a date of marriage deduction for R.
4) B. v. S.
S received over $1,000,000 inheritance from her father’s estate. Prior to separation, she deposited $375,000 into the parties’ joint bank account. There was $175,000 left in the account on the date of separation.
AP Lawyers only asked to exclude the $175,000 of the inheritance left in the joint account but B, through his lawyers insisted that since the money was deposited into the joint account, it had lost its exclusionary value.
AP Lawyers was successful in getting S the exclusion.
5) H. v. Q.
H received a $500,000 payout from his father’s life insurance policy 4 years prior to the parties’ separation.
H was able to receive a full exclusion with the assistance of AP Lawyers.