Dividing property and assets during a divorce or separation can be a complicated and emotional process. In Ontario, the family law requires that property and assets be divided equally between spouses upon divorce. However, the process of determining what constitutes property and assets and how to divide them fairly can be challenging. In this article, we will discuss how to divide property and assets during a divorce in Ontario.
Understand the Law
In Divorce Act Ontario, property and assets are divided based on the principle of equalization. This means that each spouse is entitled to an equal share of the net family property. Net family property is calculated by subtracting the value of assets at the time of marriage from the value of assets at the time of separation.
Identify Property and Assets
To divide property and assets, you must first identify what constitutes property and assets. This includes real estate, vehicles, investments, bank accounts, pensions, and personal property. It is essential to gather documentation, such as bank statements, tax returns, and other financial records, to determine the value of each asset.
Calculate Net Family Property
Once you have identified property and assets, you can calculate net family property. This involves subtracting the value of assets at the time of marriage from the value of assets at the time of separation. Any debts acquired during the marriage are also subtracted from the value of assets.
Determine Equalization Payment
The spouse with the higher net family property must pay an equalization payment to the other spouse to achieve an equal division of property and assets. This payment represents half of the difference between the two spouses’ net family property.
Negotiate a Settlement
Before going to court, spouses can negotiate a settlement on the division of property and assets. This involves determining which assets each spouse will keep and how any outstanding debts will be paid.
If spouses are unable to reach a settlement, they may attend family mediation. Mediation involves working with a neutral third party to negotiate a settlement. Mediation can be less expensive and less time-consuming than going to court.
Go to Court
If spouses are unable to reach a settlement, they may need to go to court. In court, a judge will make a decision on how to divide property and assets based on the evidence presented.
Seek Legal Advice
Dividing property and assets during a divorce can be complicated, and it is essential to seek legal advice. TCZ Lawyer Eric Tianchuan Zhao can help you understand your rights and obligations, negotiate a settlement, or represent you in court if necessary.
In conclusion, dividing property and assets during a divorce in Ontario requires determining the grounds and understanding the law, identifying property and assets, calculating net family property, determining equalization payment, negotiating a settlement, attending mediation, going to court if necessary, and seeking legal advice. We can help you navigate the process and ensure that your rights are protected.