Spousal Support and Division of Property
At Elliott & Hills, we help clients resolve money and property-related issues through negotiation, mediation or collaboration. Our goal is to help clients develop fair and just agreements outside of court. This settlement-oriented approach is designed to reduce the emotional and financial costs associated with divorce. It also gives the two parties more input into the decisions and control over the outcome.
The purpose of spousal support is to reduce the negative financial consequences that may result from the breakdown of the relationship. The goal of the law is to distribute the net disposable income fairly between the parties.
The entitlement to spousal support and the amount of support depend upon the length of the relationship, the age of the parties, the disparities of their incomes at the time of the separation and other factors. Spousal support can be permanent or temporary, giving the lower-income party time to become financially self-supporting.
We will give you a realistic assessment of what you are likely to pay or receive in spousal support. Typically, when determining the amount and duration of spousal support, we follow the Spousal Support Advisory Guidelines. While these guidelines are not binding, your lawyers must show a compelling reason for the court to vary from them. At Elliott & Hills, we do not make unrealistic promises regarding the results you are likely to obtain.
The laws regarding property division (also called equalization of net family properties) apply only to married couples, not cohabiting couples. Property division is based on the idea that a marriage is a financial partnership. As such, the law is a method of ensuring that both spouses share equally in any increase in net worth that occurred during the marriage.
Equalization of property applies to all forms of all property, including investments, pensions, registered retirement savings plans, stocks, bonds, interests in privately held businesses and real estate. If you jointly own a home with your spouse, we will help you determine whether the home should be sold, whether one person will buy out the other's interest or whether some other arrangement is possible.
A related concern is whether either or both parties will continue to live in the home during the period of separation. Under Ontario law, you have a right to continue to live in the matrimonial home. In situations involving children, it may be to your advantage to stay in the home during the separation.
Our lawyers represent clients with modest marital assets as well as clients with significant marital assets. No matter the size of your marital assets, it is important to consult a lawyer you can trust regarding equalization of property. The result of the decisions you make now will affect your financial situation for years to come.