Equalization of Net Family Property
The Guiding Principle of Ontario Family Law
If you and your spouse are married, when you separate or divorce you are entitled to what is called the equalization of net family property. That equalization will be done for any couple who comes to the court for property division (rather than settling their affairs privately), and spouses are entitled to equalization regardless of the nature of the specific marriage or the couple’s conduct. Either spouse can apply for equalization of family property under Ontario’s Family Law Act (FLA), at any time following separation.
There are limitation periods under the FLA, however. You must bring your equalization claim within the earliest of the following:
- Six years of the date of separation;
- Two years from the date of divorce; or
- Six months from the date of the spouse’s death.
The FLA takes a very specific view of the institution of marriage, and imposes that view upon couples who come to court seeking equalization. According to the FLA, “inherent in the marital relationship there is equal contribution,” and upon marriage breakdown the FLA therefore seeks to provide for “equitable sharing.” In order to compensate the spouses fairly for that equal contribution during the relationship, the FLA stipulates that the value of all assets acquired by the spouses during the marriage will be divided equally.
While you may not feel that your particular marriage warrants equal sharing, or that such a process is equitable, these are the presumptions in place under the legislation. Absent some specific extenuating circumstances (which are set out in detail in the section on Division of Property), the court will follow the equalization process. An Ontario family lawyer can explain this process in more detail and can preserve your interests in your divorce or separation.
Call Feldstein Family Law Group P.C. today at (905) 581-7222 to discuss your case and needs.
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Andrew Feldstein graduated from Osgoode Hall Law School in 1992. Prior to focusing exclusively on family law, Andrew’s legal practice covered many different areas, including corporate commercial. One of Andrew’s fundamental objectives is to achieve those goals mutually and collaboratively, as set out by him and his client.
LawyerJeff obtained his Honours Bachelor of Arts degree in Classical Studies from McMaster University before attending law school at Queen’s.
LawyerLocation: Markham Daphna Schwartz joined Feldstein Family Law Group, P.C. in 2007 as an associate lawyer. She was previously ...
LawyerLocation: Vaughan Nick Slinko attended York University from 2003 until 2007 where he majored in both Law & Society and ...
LawyerAnna Troitschanski joined the team at Feldstein Family Law Group, P.C. in 2012. Prior to that, she practised Family Law at a boutique Newmarket firm. Her experience covers all areas of divorce and family law, including custody and access, child support, spousal support, and division of property.
LawyerVeronica Yeung joined the Feldstein Family Law Group, P.C. as a summer student in 2014 and returned as an articling student in 2015. Following her call to the Ontario Bar in June 2016, Veronica was welcomed to the team as an associate lawyer.
Shana joined Feldstein Family Law Group P.C. as an articling student in 2017. Following her call to the Ontario Bar in June 2018, Shana was welcomed back to the firm as an associate. While completing her articles, Shana assisted with legal matters covering all areas of family law.
LawyerRachel joined Feldstein Family Law Group P.C as a Summer Student in 2019 and returned as an Articling Student in 2020-2021. ...
Associate LawyerQuinn spent two years as a Summer Student and then completed her Articling term at a boutique Family Law firm in Orangeville, ...
Associate LawyerLauren joined Feldstein Family Law Group as a Summer Student in 2020 and returned as an Articling Student in 2021-2022. ...