Property Division and Equalization

Learn more about Property Division and Equalization from our lawyers in Vaughan, ON. Contact Ciccone Law for more details.

Dividing your property

The law says that married spouses share responsibility for childcare, household management and earning income during their marriage. In the eyes of the law, a marriage is an equal partnership. When a marriage ends, the partnership is over and property must to be divided.

To recognize the equal contribution of each person, the general rule is that the value of any property that you acquired during your marriage and that you still have when you separate must be divided equally—50-50. Property that you brought with you into your marriage is yours to keep if your marriage ends. Any increase in the value of this property during your marriage must be shared.

There are some exceptions to these rules. The law allows you to keep the value of some property that you have at the end of your marriage for yourself. This property is called excluded property. It includes the following:

  • gifts you received during your marriage from someone other than your spouse;
  • property that you inherited during your marriage;
  • money that you received from an insurance company because someone died; and
  • money that you received or that you have a right to collect due to a judgment, for example, as a result of a personal injury such as a car accident.

The family home is another exception to the general rules. The law says that when your marriage ends, the full value of the family home must be shared even if one of you owned the home before you were married, received it as a gift, or inherited it.

Unlike other types of property, you do not get to keep for yourself what the house was worth at the time of your marriage.

You and your spouse can agree to a different split; or, in some circumstances, you can ask the court to divide things differently. The court can only divide property differently in very special situations and if a 50-50 split would be extremely unfair to one of you.

The legal rules that you have to follow to calculate the value of your property and divide it between you and your spouse can be complicated. It is a good idea to consult a lawyer about how the rules apply in your case.

The first thing that you and your spouse must do is to separately calculate the total value of your share of the family property according to the rules set out in the law. You must be fair and honest when you do this. If you go to court, you must prepare a full financial report of all your property, debts, and income. You must swear or affirm that it is accurate.

This is not legal advice. For legal advice, please contact Ciccone Law.