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Novice here: Advice needed on asset split in a separation agreement

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  • Novice here: Advice needed on asset split in a separation agreement

    My wife and I have been married for 9 months and things aren't going well between us. Couples counselling seems unlikely and if this leads to a separation, I need some advice on the financial implications. I will get in touch with a lawyer, if the need be, but I wanted to get some general advice in the meanwhile. I have done some research but unable to find anything conclusive.

    After marriage, for the first 6 months, my wife stayed in my house that I co-owned with my parent. (Let's just call this the "old" house for ease of reference). After 6 months, we bought our own house (let's call this "new" house) in a different city and moved there 3 months ago. I still co-own the "old" house where my parent is living right now. My wife wasn't expected to and didn't contribute anything financially towards the "old" house.

    The only common asset my wife and I have (where both are listed as registered owners) is the "new" house we moved in 3 months ago. Both cars are registered under my name (purchased before marriage) and my wife doesn't drive either. We don't have any joint savings accounts - just individual RRSP, TFSAs, and CPP.

    How would asset split work in my situation with both the "new" and "old" house? What about our individual investment and CPP accounts?

    Thanks!

  • #2
    what does she want? I would suggest to her that you sell the house you are in now, split whatever profit/loss and go your own way. Not legal advice at all but you do need a starting point.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by adrenalinejunkie View Post
      My wife and I have been married for 9 months and things aren't going well between us. Couples counselling seems unlikely and if this leads to a separation, I need some advice on the financial implications. I will get in touch with a lawyer, if the need be, but I wanted to get some general advice in the meanwhile. I have done some research but unable to find anything conclusive.

      After marriage, for the first 6 months, my wife stayed in my house that I co-owned with my parent. (Let's just call this the "old" house for ease of reference). After 6 months, we bought our own house (let's call this "new" house) in a different city and moved there 3 months ago. I still co-own the "old" house where my parent is living right now. My wife wasn't expected to and didn't contribute anything financially towards the "old" house.

      The only common asset my wife and I have (where both are listed as registered owners) is the "new" house we moved in 3 months ago. Both cars are registered under my name (purchased before marriage) and my wife doesn't drive either. We don't have any joint savings accounts - just individual RRSP, TFSAs, and CPP.

      How would asset split work in my situation with both the "new" and "old" house? What about our individual investment and CPP accounts?

      Thanks!

      One thing that you should understand is that it doesnt matter whose name the asset is in, its all considered family property.

      In general, the way it works is that you look at appreciation on the value of assets and liabilities between the date of marriage and the date of separation.

      I dont know what co-own means. You should seek legal advice on this.

      The house you live in (new house) is considered your marital home. The equity on it would be split on it equally.

      That said, you should also be concerned about spousal support. If your wife was not working and you were, shes going to claim she was disadvantaged by the marriage economically and expect you to pay her spousal support. If shes greedy or gets a greedy lawyer, she might make claims that you were abusive, financially controlling or unfaithful and try to get a longer pay duration. Check my support calculator.ca to get an idea of what you will be expected to pay.

      Lastly, if you dont have kids, do not have them. This will complicate things significantly. And if its not working, get out quick. The longer a marriage lasts the more complex the divorce becomes.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by standing on the sidelines View Post
        what does she want? I would suggest to her that you sell the house you are in now, split whatever profit/loss and go your own way. Not legal advice at all but you do need a starting point.
        I have no issues selling the new house and splitting the profit/loss. For the initial down payment and monthly expenses, we have always split them 50/50.

        According to her, there is nothing wrong with the marriage. She wants a baby and is pushing me into having one , which I am not on board with anymore. My main reason of going through with separation is the constant emotional manipulation and emotional abuse towards me on many topics which are not sustainable in the long run. And despite of having many conversations with her to address and resolve them, I am not noticing any progress. Due to recent nasty arguments between us, I expressed my frustration of getting divorced which turned into a lot nastier of a fight. She thinks I am using divorce to blackmail her as she was divorced previously and this is her second marriage (which I can understand but that is no reason for me to continue staying in an unhappy marriage).

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by InsideOut View Post
          One thing that you should understand is that it doesn�t matter whose name the asset is in, it�s all considered family property.

          In general, the way it works is that you look at appreciation on the value of assets and liabilities between the date of marriage and the date of separation.

          I don�t know what �co-own� means. You should seek legal advice on this.

          The house you live in (new house) is considered your marital home. The equity on it would be split on it equally.

          That said, you should also be concerned about spousal support. If your wife was not working and you were, she�s going to claim she was disadvantaged by the marriage economically and expect you to pay her spousal support. If she�s greedy or gets a greedy lawyer, she might make claims that you were abusive, financially controlling or unfaithful and try to get a longer pay duration. Check my support calculator.ca to get an idea of what you will be expected to pay.

          Lastly, if you don�t have kids, do not have them. This will complicate things significantly. And if it�s not working, get out quick. The longer a marriage lasts the more complex the divorce becomes.
          Co-own in my case is me being a joint owner with my parent on the "old" house.

          Based on some online research, why would a car (for example) that I purchased before marriage give her any sort of entitlement in a separation agreement? I could be wrong but isn't that considered a sole asset and not a joint asset?

          Also, how would this apply to cash savings (not invested) acquired after marriage?

          I understand the concept of splitting equity on the marital home, but I guess my main question is, does my "old" house qualify as a marital home for the 6 months she lived there? As I jointly own that house with my parent, it's a complicated situation on which I am not able to find much information online. I suppose I need to get in touch with a lawyer to gain some advice.

          I actually want to sell the new house and split the profit/loss (which we went in 50/50 in the first place to make things easier). I think she will want the same thing as there is no way she can sustain this house on a single income. Also, this new house is in a very suburban city and her not knowing how to drive is going to make getting around extremely difficult for her. Public transport in this city is very limited so that is out of question as well.

          I am not worried about financial/spousal support (I hope) as my wife has always worked and we both earn similar salaries. Until about 3 months ago, she switched jobs and now earns higher than me.

          She has been pushing me to have a baby which I am not on board with anymore. I agree, having a kid is going to amplify the situation dramatically. We already have so many issues and the amount of emotional abuse and manipulation I am subjected to every day is not sustainable. We have had recent arguments that have been nasty. During one of the arguments, I said that I wanted a divorce to which she threw that back on my face as a blackmail tactic. As this is her second marriage, she is accusing me of using divorce as a scare tactic. This is absolutely not the case and I am looking to get out of this mess to reclaim my sanity.

          Comment


          • #6
            You need to fill out an NFP, listing all of each of your assets at the date of marriage and now, to better understand the numbers you're working with. Remember, you aren't splitting the actual items, but would be splitting the total VALUE of the assets acquired after marriage.

            Any assets ( like the cars purchased pre marriage) would be listed on your side. And the form will indicate how and where to list the values of the homes. Your co-owned home, you would list your share of the value of the home. If you own 10%, that is what you would put down. There can only be one matrimonial home listed, which would be your current residence.

            Do not have kids if you don't want them or aren't prepared for the legal complications on seperation. Given your opposite positions on the subject, especially if you are moving towards separating, it may be a good idea to take preventative measures like seperate sleeping arrangements and no intimate contact, until you've made a decision. You're still on the hook for any 'oops' that could happen, even of you've made clear you don't want kids. The responsibility for prevention is 100% yours.

            Comment


            • #7
              Only one marital home and its the one youre at when you separate. She might try to argue otherwise, but eventually its the home you were in on separation date.

              So many red flags in your story.

              You should get legal advice and get out asap. She might want a baby to trap you financially or otherwise. As soon as there is a baby, your ongoing financial support obligations are at least 18 years.

              Comment


              • #8
                how long were you living together total?

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by blinkandimgone View Post
                  You need to fill out an NFP, listing all of each of your assets at the date of marriage and now, to better understand the numbers you're working with. Remember, you aren't splitting the actual items, but would be splitting the total VALUE of the assets acquired after marriage.

                  Any assets ( like the cars purchased pre marriage) would be listed on your side. And the form will indicate how and where to list the values of the homes. Your co-owned home, you would list your share of the value of the home. If you own 10%, that is what you would put down. There can only be one matrimonial home listed, which would be your current residence.

                  Do not have kids if you don't want them or aren't prepared for the legal complications on seperation. Given your opposite positions on the subject, especially if you are moving towards separating, it may be a good idea to take preventative measures like seperate sleeping arrangements and no intimate contact, until you've made a decision. You're still on the hook for any 'oops' that could happen, even of you've made clear you don't want kids. The responsibility for prevention is 100% yours.
                  What is an NFP? I am very new to this hence I am asking the most basic of questions.

                  Sorry, not sure what you mean by cars will be listed on my side? Does that mean she can claim a portion of my car's value even though she has no legal association to it at all?

                  Also, for the single marital home, does that mean that she can only claim equity on the current/"new" home? Will she have any rights over the "old" home even though she won't be living there at the time of separation?

                  I am not having kids for sure. The environment in the relationship is too toxic (at least to me) to sustain just ourselves, let alone kids. She is out of country for the next 2 weeks and once she's back, I will approach the subject of separation which I am sure won't go well.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by InsideOut View Post
                    Only one marital home and it�s the one you�re at when you separate. She might try to argue otherwise, but eventually it�s the home you were in on separation date.

                    So many red flags in your story.

                    You should get legal advice and get out asap. She might want a baby to trap you financially or otherwise. As soon as there is a baby, your ongoing financial support obligations are at least 18 years.
                    Gotcha, so the one marital home would be the current house. Does that mean she can't claim the equity appreciation (value on date of separation - value on date of marriage) on the old house? (one co-owned with my parent)

                    There are definitely many red flags for sure and the amount of emotional manipulation and abuse I have been subjected to (some subtle and some obvious) is enough for me to call this quits.

                    Baby is out of question, that's for sure. I am going to contact a family lawyer this week to get some advise on the expected outcomes before I officially start the process.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by standing on the sidelines View Post
                      how long were you living together total?
                      We have been living together and married for 9 months (6 months in the old house that I co-own with my parent and 3 months in the new house that we both own together)

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        You sound like a smart guy so taking you at your word and since everyone else covered the obvious legal stuff here is the stuff not said:

                        1. Move out, move now. Someone exhibiting the behavior your ex does is likely to have a false charge of domestic violence and no matter how squeaky clean you think you are you can be charged and brought to trial.

                        2. Hopefully your counsellor has good notes...6 months later the cops may show up at your door and charge you.

                        3. Don't tell her you are moving, she goes out one day you pack your stuff and go or you show up one day with friends and a moving van, inform the cops what you are doing, pack up, video the place and leave. You can serve the papers later.

                        3. As soon as she believes divorce is imminent she may immediately turn on you.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Dont make any serious decisions like moving out until you have spoken to a lawyer. And while you are compiling a list of assets, log everything in the house including furniture.

                          I would also look into cancelling any additional credit accounts you have like store cards etc.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            This is a good place for you to start

                            https://stepstojustice.ca/legal-topi...n-and-divorce/

                            NFP is a net family property statement that details thr assets each of you brought into the relationship. The cars would be listed as assets you brought into the marriage.

                            And definitely agree on not moving out, this can make the process substantially more difficult and is rarely ever recommended.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              OK, I will believe it can make things more complicated but how to protect against a false domestic violence charge?

                              From what I understand he can move back anytime he likes, she can't change the locks or deny him entry. It is his property.

                              Comment

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