The first and most important issue in the division of property in Ontario is whether you were legally married. Unfortunately, common law couples do not have the same rights to division of property that married couples do.
For married couples, the important dates are the date of marriage and the date of separation. While the date of marriage is usually not in dispute, the date of separation often is because it can significantly impact the division of property.
The first step is determining what assets or liabilities each party had on the date of marriage and on the date of separation. If there is a disparity in the amount of assets each party accumulated during the relationship, then an equalization payment will be made from the party with the greater amount of assets to the party with the lesser amount of assets.
If Tony had 70% of the parties accumulated assets on the date of separation and Sally had 30%, then Tony would have to transfer 20% of the assets to Sally so each party would exit the relationship with 50% of the parties assets. This is commonly referred to as an equalization payment.
For common law couples, there are a number of remedies to divide the accumulated assets, but it is not guaranteed to be successful and is dependant on the unique facts of each case. Some of the typical arguments are unjust enrichment claims, joint family venture, constructive trusts and resulting trusts.
To learn more about the division of property for common law or married couples, please call our office at 613-325-2200 to book an initial consultation or fill out the information below and we will contact you to set up an initial consultation.