Un-happily Ever After: Olivia Wilde Separates from her Husband

Olivia Wilde and her husband, Italian Prince, Tao Ruspoli have decided to separate after 8 years of marriage. It has been reported that Olivia and Tao have been living separate and apart for quite sometime and have now mutually decided to officially end their relationship. It should be noted, however, that neither party has officially filed for divorce at this time, but it has been reported that Olivia is planning to do so shortly.

What if the parties were in Ontario?

As the parties do not have any children, if the parties were separating in Ontario, the issues which would need to be resolved would be:

  1. The Matrimonial Home;
  2. Equalization of the parties Net Family Property; and
  3. Spousal Support.

The Matrimonial Home

Although there have not been many details released regarding Olivia and Tao's relationship, it is relatively safe to assume that they shared a home together and as such, this asset will need to be properly addressed as part of a settlement in this matter. Part I of the Family Law Act deals with the Matrimonial Home and protects each spouse's rights to the home whether or not they have been placed on title. What will be done with the Matrimonial Home, for example whether it will be sold or whether one party will retain the home, is a decision that is the parties must make on their own. The value of the home, and all associated liabilities, will be dealt with as part of the Equalization calculation as will be discussed. For further information on how Matrimonial Homes are typically handled by the Ontario Courts, please visit our website.

Equalization

When a married couple decides to separate, the parties will have to address the issue of what their new financial reality will be like. The process to come to this determination is known is called "Equalization," and is a calculation which will be completed to determine the amount that the spouse with more assets is obligated to pay the other. Not knowing which spouse in this situation earns more, as Tao is an Italian Prince and filmmaker and Olivia is an actress, or anything about the couple's assets, it is impossible to say which spouse would be responsible for an equalization payment to the other. 

Spousal Support

There have not been any reports as to whether either party will be seeking spousal support from the other, Ontario Courts would first consider whether the individual was entitled to support. In order to determine this is entitlement the Court would look at such factors as whether he/she is in need of support, or if he/she had made a contribution to the marriage that requires they be compensated for.

Based on the known facts of this case, as Olivia is an actress on "House," and as Tao is a filmmaker and likely has significant wealth due to the fact that his family is royalty, both parties are likely high income earners. Based on the assumption that they are both making a very good living, it would be difficult to prove that either is in need of support and therefore they would likely not be able to meet the test for entitlement. If the parties could not meet this test, then the spousal support issue would be completed and neither would receive it from the other.

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