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Going through seperation - need some suggestion

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  • Going through seperation - need some suggestion

    I am New to this forum. Me and my soon to be ex spouse going through a seperation. We married in 2018 and agreed upon date of separation 2021. She was working fulltime throughout the marriage - did not contribute to any mortgage/day to day expenses associated on the matrimonial home I was the one paying most of the household expenses.
    What can i do at this point - any suggestion/help would be much appreciated on my situation. I had to switch my previous lawyer also as he does not do court litigation and now legal fees creeping up.

  • #2
    You're going to need a good lawyer, preferably one who litigates, if you stand a chance. It's the matrimonial home so by default you both share 50% ownership. Then you're both on title, so both parties will continue to benefit from appreciation plus lowered mortgage until it's sold.

    Ex benefits from delays. You either need to buy her out now at 50% equity or sell it and share profits 50%. Anything else is a risky fight, maybe doable, where a lawyer would know.


    • #3
      In your best interests just to sell asap, split 50% minus whatever down payment and or maybe buyout would have been from your mother at the start…should definitely seek out a good family law lawyer and maybe do a little research on previous similar cases like yours to know what to expect…I would say come to a quick agreement to reduce time paying mortgage, taxes, insurance, and legal fees…also stress can take a huge toll on people’s health. Get on it asap for sure.


      • #4
        Thanks for the advise! really appreciated


        • #5
          Ex continues to own the asset until it's sold, so current value should be used.


          • #6
            Rules for common-law marriage are different so that is an important piece of information.

            This seems like a simple answer for regular marriage. Your soon to be ex own that property with you and your mother owns none of it. She or you gave it away.
            A real estate lawyer would likely be able to tell you the same a judge can't show sympathy and give it back.

            Your ex made $500, 000 / year and spent it all on trips to the Bahamas, booze and gigolos
            You made $100, 000 / year and put all your money and time into the house, utilities and groceries.
            Results in your ex owning 50% of the house.

            Going forward I think you get the money you put in back as far as mortgage and taxes goes but ask a lawyer for straight up answer on that.
            Your ex wants to do everything through legals because she knows she is on shaky moral ground she prefers the certainty of the legal system that does not account for morals.

            Make a good settlement offer via a good litigation lawyer. Chop it in 1/2 and rest.


            • #7
              This wasn't a common law relationship and no mat. home, so this should be treated like any other asset on the nfp form.

              Current value is used because ex is on title to this investment which should not only continue to go up in value but make an income each month as well. Presumably the rent covered the expenses; if there was any surplus, op may owe additional money.


              • #8
                there is something about a constructive trust argument i believe
                the other thing to consider is that she would have acquired the property during the marriage where you (not sure if you were on title on date of marriage and/or) would have lost assets

                I do have a feeling this situation with proper documentation showing the money flow would yield a pretty cut and dry answer
                Not sure if that answer will be to your benefit or not, get a good lawyer

                also, the ex refusing to handle this me go straight to a trial and don't waste the time
                if you are reasonable in your offers, your behavior and her unwillingness to cooperate will help with costs of said trial

                short marriage, no kids, this should be a simple math formula


                • #9
                  Thanks for the advise! really appreciated


                  • #10
                    I would actually suggest to get a lawyer, sell the property and have the money held in trust as an option. Assuming you both have a place to live.
                    you want to learn about something called equalization

                    easy math time...let's treat this as the only item involved in equalization..its more complex and there are more items

                    so you have to look at date of marriage value, and it sounds like that you and your mom had joint ownership of an asset worth 100K with a debt of 80K. (easy math)

                    on date of seperation lets say the condo is worth 300K and the mortgage on it is 60K..let's assume the entire debt is in your name and you have paid some of it down

                    her asset is 150K that she acquired during the marriage, with 0 debt related to it
                    your asset is 150K with a debt of 60K

                    during the marriage her net worth has gone up 150K. Yours has gone up 70K (appreciation of 50K and decrease of debt of 20k). The difference is 80K, she would owe you 40K on equalization. House sells for 300K, bank is paid, 240K left, 120 would be 5050, shed have to give you that 40K. You get 160K, she gets 80K.

                    That is the basics of it, now that you are raising and issue with contributing to the expenses personally after the date of separation, that is where the lawyer will need to come into play

                    now lets assume she was not on title at all

                    your net worth has gone from 20K (100K asset iwth 80K in debt) to 240K (300K asset and 60 K in debt). Your net worth on this alone is has gone up by 220K. She would get half of it on equalization.

                    in my case, the matrimonial home was totally owned by me, we sold it and bought a new matrimonial home with both our names on it.
                    She came into marriage with debt and left with the value of half a house.
                    I came into marriage with assets and left with the value of half a house.

                    Her net increase over the marriage is much higher than mine, and she would owe half the difference to me...which she does
                    Our house was sold and everything is held in trust because if she got the money, she would have spent it and would have no way to cover equalization. the money being held in trust sucks because i need my half but it secures what she will owe me and gives me tremendous bargaining power
                    particularly since she has not paid taxes in 4 years and owes the cra 50K..


                    • #11
                      how can I use a date of marriage value when the condo was still under construction? construction completed and mortgage kicked during the marriage


                      • #12
                        You need a lawyer and you need to listen to them. You had assets before the marriage and then she had her name added to the title. It became her asset as well. Somehow, somewhere you made a decision to have her not contribute to expenses. It is not her fault she didn't contribute. You should have put together some sort of agreement where she would pay something or transferred the asset to your mother before marriage.

                        Figure out a way to offer her enough to make her go away. It was a short marriage with no kids so this can be finalized and ended quickly with no long term impacts.


                        • #13
                          Equalization is all about the change in net worth over the course of the marriage.

                          You owned half a planned condo at marriage. You owned half an actual condo at separation.
                          She owned no condo at marriage. She owned half an actual condo at separation.
                          Those are the numbers that go into the giant spreadsheet of the total assets and debts you are dividing.
                          The tricky part will be evaluating the value of a yet-to-be-built condo. Consult someone in finance or real estate appraisal maybe? Worst case scenario, you have given her half a condo by putting her on the title like that. You might be able to argue having to pay back your mother for the down payment before the value is calculated, and your ex will argue that it was a gift.

                          The same thing goes for the other two properties. For the matrimonial home, the fancy rules say it doesn't matter when it was purchased or if she wasn't on title, she still gets half the value at date of separation. For your additional property, it does matter who is on title.

                          It doesn't matter who paid mortgage/bill/maintenance/etc for these properties during the marriage. Marriage officially mingles your finances even if you keep income and bank accounts separate. For a really short marriage, there is something called unjust enrichment. You can look into it, but it probably doesn't apply for a four-year marriage. Or it might, since date of separation came only a year after putting her on title of the condo.

                          This is all a giant cost/benefit comparison. Is the cost of fighting in court going to be more than you'd get from winning in court?

                          As for spousal support, of course her lawyer is going to argue she's entitled to it. That's their job. You are going to argue that it was a short marriage, she has a good income, and her earning potential did not suffer in any way because of the marriage so she's not entitled. Honestly, this is where your fight should be. SS in this situation is stupid.

                          A lot of these issues require consultation with experts. But at least now you have a better idea of some of the questions you should be asking them.


                          • #14
                            Thanks Rioe and others for your suggestions! appreciate it.


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