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METRAC Webinar. Property Rights and Obligations of Married and Co-habiting Partners  January 19, 2012 12:00pm – 1:00pm. METRAC 158 Spadina Road, Toronto ON, Canada www.metrac.org | info@metrac.org | Phone 416-392-3135. METRAC.

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property rights and obligations of married and co habiting partners january 19 2012 12 00pm 1 00pm

METRAC Webinar

Property Rights and Obligations of Married and Co-habiting Partners 

January 19, 2012

12:00pm – 1:00pm

METRAC 158 Spadina Road, Toronto ON, Canada

www.metrac.org | info@metrac.org | Phone 416-392-3135

metrac

METRAC

METRAC, The Metropolitan Action Committee on Violence Against Women and Children, is a not-for-profit, community-based organization that works to prevent and end violence against women, youth, and children, across diverse communities.

METRAC’S Community Justice Program provides accessible legal information, education, and training for women and service providers. It examines how legislation and legal practices affect women from diverse backgrounds and especially those experiencing abuse or violence.

www.METRAC.org

FLEW, The Family Law Education for Women campaign

information on women’s rights and options under Ontario family law

available in 14 languages, accessible formats, online and print

www.OneFamilyLaw.ca

Phone: 416-392-9138

METRAC Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/user/metracorg

METRAC Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/metracorg

METRAC Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/metracorg

presenters

Robert Halpern

Family Law Specialist, Torkin Manes LLP, Toronto

Author of Property Rights and Obligations under Ontario Family Law

Presenters

Tamar Witelson

Legal Director, METRAC

division of family property in ontario

Ontario Family Law Act, R.S.O. 1990, CHAPTER F.3

  • applies to married spouses, both opposite and same sex
  • guiding principles:
      • marriage is an equal partnership
      • assumes each spouse contributes equally to household, child and financial responsibilities
  • result: each spouse entitled to
  • equal share of family assets/debts
  • at marriage breakdown

Division of Family Property in Ontario

equalization payment

applies to the increase in couple’s property that occurred during the marriage

  • deducted: property (minus debts) that each spouse owned on the date of marriage (except the Matrimonial Home)
  • excluded: gifts that each spouse personally received during the marriage (except the Matrimonial Home)
  • calculate Net Family Property for each spouse: total assets minus total debts for each spouse at end of marriage
  • asset examples:
    • businesses, real estate (land, cottages, secondary or rental properties), furnishings, bank accounts, pensions, cars
  • debt examples:
    • mortgages, bank loans, car loans, credit card balances, unpaid income taxes

Equalization Payment

equalization payment cont d

calculation of Equalization Payment:

    • higher Net Family Property (spouse 1) minus lower Net Family Property (spouse 2)
    • divide the difference by two (equals $X)
    • spouse 1 pays half the difference ($X) to spouse 2
  • Domestic Contracts: spouses can agree to exclude specific property from the equalization calculation
  • violence or abuse: get legal advice before signing any agreement about division of family property

Equalization Payment (Cont’d)

matrimonial home

“Matrimonial Home” is the home ordinarily occupied by the spouses as the family residence at the time of separation

  • there are special rules for the
  • Matrimonial Home in the
  • equalization calculation
  • the Matrimonial Home is included in the
  • property calculation of the spouse(s)
  • whose name is on the deed
  • if the Matrimonial Home was owned by
  • one spouse before the marriage, it is NOT deducted from that spouse’s
  • Net Family Property

Matrimonial Home

matrimonial home cont d

if the Matrimonial Home was a gift to one of the spouses during the marriage, it is NOT excluded from that spouse’s Net Family Property

  • the value of the Matrimonial Home at separation must be included in the calculation of the Equalization Payment
  • both spouses have a right to live in the Matrimonial Home unless and until there is a court order or agreement to the contrary
      • locks cannot be changed by one party without a court order or agreement to the contrary
    • property cannot be sold without both spouses’ agreement

Matrimonial Home (Cont’d)

presenters1

Robert Halpern

Family Law Specialist, Torkin Manes LLP, Toronto

Author of Property Rights and Obligations under Ontario Family Law

Presenters

Tamar Witelson

Legal Director, METRAC

common law or cohabiting partners

The Family Law Act rules for division of property do NOT apply to common law or cohabiting partners

  • The Family Law Act does apply to common law partners for spousal support
  • in Ontario, “Common Law” partners for support purposes are defined as spouses who have lived together for at least three years or have a child together and lived together in a relationship of some permanence

Common Law or Cohabiting Partners

common law or cohabiting partners cont d

the courts have made rules for the division of property between unmarried cohabiting partners

  • factors the court considers:
    • long relationship
    • integrated finances
    • cooperation in running the household
    • cooperation raising children
    • leaving school or workforce for family
    • moving for one partner’s career
  • the court may order one partner to pay money to the other or divide ownership of some family property between partners

Common Law or Cohabiting Partners (Cont’d)

surviving spouses

Surviving Spouses

  • if wife or husband dies before his/her spouse, the surviving spouse has a choice regarding family property:
      • if there is a will, accept the bequest of property according to the will, OR
      • if there isn’t a will, accept the assignment of property according to the rules for intestacy (no will), OR
      • choose division of property according to the equalization calculation.
  • if division of property by equalization calculation (#3), payment to the surviving spouse takes priority over will or intestacy rules
where to get legal advice

consult a family law lawyer in private practice

      • recommended by a friend or support agency
      • Law Society of Upper Canada Referral Service www.lsuc.on.ca
      • toll free: 1-800-668-7380
  • Legal Aid Ontario
      • online info from Family Law Information Program (FLIP)
      • http://legalaid.on.ca/data/hidden/FLIP_en/player.html
      • Family Law Information Clinics (FLICs)
      • http://www.legalaid.on.ca/en/getting/type_family.asp
      • Family Law Service Centres
      • http://www.legalaid.on.ca/en/contact/contact.asp?type=flsc
      • legal aid certificate for complex cases or if domestic violence is involved
      • www.legalaid.on.ca
  • Community Legal Clinics
      • some specialty clinics, serving specific communities, may cover family law issues
      • http://www.legalaid.on.ca/en/contact/contact.asp?type=scl

Where to Get Legal Advice

questions

METRAC Webinar

Questions?

METRAC 158 Spadina Road, Toronto ON, Canada

www.metrac.org | info@metrac.org | Phone 416-392-3135

presenters2

Robert Halpern

Family Law Specialist, Torkin Manes LLP, Toronto

Author of Property Rights and Obligations under Ontario Family Law

Presenters

Tamar Witelson

Legal Director, METRAC

slide16

Useful Resources

METRAC: www.METRAC.org

Ontario Women’s Justice Network: www.OWJN.org

Family Law Education for Women: www.OneFamilyLaw.ca

METRAC 158 Spadina Road, Toronto ON, Canada

www.metrac.org | info@metrac.org | Phone 416-392-3135