In practical terms, a long-term relationship is an economic arrangement. Couples are aware of this reality in day-to-day life. The law also recognizes this fact in the guidelines it sets for the respective financial responsibilities of spouses during a relationship and when that relationship comes to an end. Asset division is one of the important issues couples must resolve when they choose to divorce or separate.
Married spouses are entitled to claim a portion of marital assets upon divorce through an equalization of net family property. For common-law couples, this right does not exist; however, spouses can claim financial compensation in the form of a trust claim. The Law Office of Stephen A. Cooper provides effective and informed representation to clients who seek a fair distribution and division of assets upon divorce or separation.
Equalization of Net Family Property
In Ontario, married couples are entitled to claim an equal share on the assets acquired over the course of a marriage, as well as the increase in value over the course of the marriage of any assets owned by one spouse on the date of marriage. While this may sound straightforward, in practice the value of assets and entitlement may be in dispute. In addition, there are some assets that may be excluded from equalization, such as gifts or inheritances. There are also specific rules that apply to the matrimonial home.
Division of assets may be agreed upon as a part of a separation agreement or may be hard-fought during courtroom divorce proceedings. The Law Office of Stephen A. Cooper provides representation in a wide spectrum of separation and divorce cases, and can negotiate or advocate for the property settlement that best meets your needs.