Abby Wambach Parts Ways with Her Wife and Home

According to TMZ, Abby Wambach, retired FIFA Women's World Cup champion, separated from her wife, Sarah Huffman in April 2016.

In August 2016, Wambach listed the couple's home for sale. Before she was married, Wambach purchased the home for around $750,000 but the home is now listed for a whopping $1.349 million. It's not clear whether Huffman is upset about the sale of the home but there is no indication that she has tried to prevent it.

If Wambach and Huffman were in Ontario, Wambach may be faced with some serious problems if she tried to sell the couple's home. In Ontario, the matrimonial home is afforded special treatment under the Family Law Act. For instance, if title were held jointly, Wambach would not be able to sell the property without first obtaining Huffman's consent.

What is more interesting is the significant increase in value of the home between the date of marriage and the date of separation (valuation day). When married spouses separate, we calculate the net value of each party's assets and liabilities that they brought into the marriage. Then, we calculate the net value of each party's assets and liabilities on the date of separation. Typically, the spouse who accumulated more wealth during the marriage makes an equalization payment to the other. However, the matrimonial home is one major exception to the date of marriage deductions that are available under the equalization regime.

Although Wambach purchased the home before the couple married, she wouldn't be able to deduct the value of the home from her net family property (NFP) as a date of marriage asset because it is the matrimonial home. Yet, the increased value of the home would be included in her valuation date assets. If title is held jointly, the value of the home will be divided between them. If Wambach has sole title, the value of the home would be included as an asset in her NFP. This has the effect of making Wambach's NFP substantially higher than it would be if she were able to deduct the home. In this case, Wambach is potentially missing out on a $750,000 date of marriage deduction that would decrease the amount of her equalization payment owing to Huffman. Ultimately, bringing a matrimonial home into the marriage may cause some serious financial repercussions upon separation.


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