What about the other assets and items we have?

If you both agree, you may divide your property any way you want in a separation agreement. If there is disagreement, it is required under Ontario law for each spouse to account for the assets they accumulated over the course of the marriage.

Each spouse’s assets and liabilities will be identified as of the date of marriage and again on the date of separation. The net value of assets minus liabilities on the date of separation will be compared to that on the date of marriage to determine a spouse’s net family property. The parties will equalize this amount so that both leave the marriage with the same of value of assets that they accumulated during the marriage.

Niagara Mediation - Other Property

It is crucial to know about the exceptions to the law; most importantly, the matrimonial home (the home where the spouses live), is input into the equation without a deduction for its value on the date of marriage. In other words, if party A owned the home and had amassed $200,000 in equity on the property then party B moves in and they are married, the entire value of the home at separation is to be divided equally.

Also, items such as life insurance proceeds, inheritances, some forms of gifts, and personal injury awards may be excluded from the net family property calculations.

How to calculate the property values at two different times:

This will require some homework that can take time. Hint: start by contacting the pension provider immediately as this often takes the longest.

Property can be almost anything you own and be anywhere in the world. Yours may include these common items:

  • homes
  • businesses
  • cars
  • furniture
  • jewelry
  • savings in the bank, retirement savings (RRSP’s, TFSA’s and other similar instruments), stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and registered education savings plans
  • an Ontario pension (ask the pension administrator for information about the value of a pension)
  • anything else that is in your name or belongs to you

Should you jointly own property together in both names, you will each put half the value of the property on your list.

Examples of excluded property are:

  • property (other than the family home) that you inherited or were gifted from someone other than your spouse during your marriage
  • money you received from an insurance company because someone died
  • money you received, or have a right to get, as a result of a personal injury like a car accident
  • items that you and your spouse have agreed to exclude through an agreement

Examples of debts include:

  • money owed on credit cards
  • the amount left to pay on your house (mortgage)
  • personal loans payable to others
  • car loan

First, add the value of all the property you owned on the day you got married. Do not include your family home, even if you owned it on the date of your marriage. 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.

Next, subtract all the debts you had as of the date of your marriage, except for debts that were owed for the family home (for example, a mortgage).

Subtract the value in Step 2 from the result you got in Step 1. Now you know your share of the value of net family property. If your share is a negative amount, it is considered to be zero.

Compare the value of your share of the family property to the value of your spouse’s share. Subtract the smaller amount from the larger amount and divide the difference by two.

This is the amount that the spouse with the larger share must pay to the spouse with the smaller share. This is called the equalization payment.