In Ontario, when a marriage or common-law relationship ends, both spouses have rights to their family property, which includes assets and debts accumulated during the relationship. However, sometimes disputes arise between the spouses regarding the division of family property. In such cases, one or both spouses may choose to apply to court for a resolution. In this article, we will provide an overview of applying to court with respect to family property in Ontario, including when it can be done and what you need to know before proceeding.
When Can You Apply to Court with Respect to Family Property in Ontario?
In Ontario, you can apply to court with respect to family property if you and your spouse cannot agree on the division of assets and debts, or if you believe that the division of property is unfair. You can also apply to court to enforce or change an existing property division order or agreement.
Before applying to court, it is important to try to resolve your dispute through negotiation or mediation, as court proceedings can be costly, time-consuming, and stressful. If you are unable to reach an agreement, you can consider applying to court for a resolution.
What Do You Need to Know Before Applying to Court with Respect to Family Property?
Before applying to court with respect to family property in Ontario, it is essential to understand the process and the potential outcomes. Here are some key things you should know:
- The court’s decision will be based on the Family Law Act, which sets out the rules for the division of family property in Ontario. The court will consider factors such as the length of the relationship, the contributions of each spouse, and the financial circumstances of each spouse.
- The court may order an equal division of family property, but this is not always the case. The court has discretion to divide property in a way that is fair and equitable, taking into account the specific circumstances of the case.
- It is important to gather and present evidence to support your case, such as financial documents, valuations of property, and evidence of contributions made by each spouse during the relationship.
- Court proceedings can be lengthy and expensive. It is important to be prepared for the costs of legal fees and other expenses associated with the court process.
- The court process can be emotionally challenging. It is important to seek the support of family and friends, as well as professional resources such as therapists or counsellors, to help you cope with the stress and uncertainty of the process.
Applying to court with respect to family property in Ontario should be considered as a last resort when all other options have been exhausted. However, if you believe that the division of family property is unfair, or if you are unable to reach an agreement with your spouse, applying to court may be necessary. It is essential to understand the process and potential outcomes before proceeding, as well as to seek the support of professional resources and legal counsel to guide you through the process.
To discuss with a family law lawyer about making an application to the family law court, please contact us at 416-901-8331.