Divorce Fact or Fiction: Part 1
“If I own property in another country it’s clearly not martial property.”
Bottom line: Depending on the circumstances, it may be true or false.
- In whose name and how was ownership taken?
- When was the property acquired?
- Was there a formal domestic agreement executed pursuant to Ontario Family Law Act and is this property addressed in that contract?
The Ontario Family Law Act provides for married spouses a detailed scheme for the division of property based on ownership and the net value of the property. Influencing factors which may vary the value and how the value is shared between the spouses include acquisition, maintenance, financial or other contribution to the property and the use of the property.
The legislation defines property, in part, as “any interest, present or future, vested or contingent, in real or personal property…” A matrimonial home has special status under Ontario family law and its net value will not be excluded from sharing with the non-titled spouse. The use of that property for family functions, vacation spot for family members or a regular seasonal spousal retreat, it will be treated as a matrimonial home.
No matter how you decide to proceed, the preliminary required step will be to prove ownership and use of the property over the life of the relationship or marriage. Documentary proof of ownership provided through government documentation demonstrating commencement date of ownership.