Can we both stay in the matrimonial home?
In most cases, it is best to keep the status quo until this process is complete. This means both parties should remain in the home unless there is a safety risk, or if the children will be significantly impacted by parental disagreements.
Again, unless there is a safety risk, you may not be permitted to leave the home with your children without the consent of the other parent or a Court Order. In short, both spouses have a right to live in the matrimonial home, even if one of them is not a registered owner of the home.
Who gets the house?
The parties must determine what they are going to do with the matrimonial home, which generally means one of two things: 1) one spouse buys the other out, or 2) the house is sold and the equity or debt is shared.
How do we value the house and other properties?
If the home is going to be sold, the market will eventually tell us the exact value of the property and the division of equity or debt is somewhat straightforward.
When one spouse wishes to retain the property, the value of the home will first need to be determined or agreed upon. This can be done in a number of ways: the parties may get an informal letter of opinion of value or comparative market analysis from a real estate agent, or they opt for a formal valuation in the form of an appraisal.
It is recommended that the parties to obtain one appraisal (via real estate agent or otherwise) and agree to be bound by that value. If the parties are unable to agree on the professional to appraise the home, Niagara Mediation will find an impartial service on your behalf.
If one party leaves the house and children during this process, will they have to pay child support during this time?
If the children reside with a spouse the majority of the time, the party that does not have the children will be required to pay child support.
If the children reside with you half of the time, you may still be required to pay child support to your spouse if your income is greater than your spouse’s income, though the amount of child support may be at a reduced level. Please see child support tab for more information.