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Hi, my name is Daphna Schwartz and I am a lawyer with the Feldstein Family Law Group. Today I’m going to talk to you about date of marriage deductions for the purposes of equalization.

When spouses are legally married and they separate or a divorce is granted, they are entitled to claim an equalization of Net Family Properties. This means that the spouse with the lesser of the two net family properties is entitled to one half the differences between them.

Section 4 of the Family Law Act, defines net family property to mean the value of all property that a spouse owns on the date of separation, after deducting the spouse’s debts and liabilities, and the value of property that the spouse owned on the date of marriage, other than a matrimonial home. Property can mean real estate, but it can also mean a variety of assets and valuables, such as cash, investments, cars, jewellery, household contents, or a time share.

In order for the spouse who claims to have brought property into a marriage to be entitled to a deduction for same, he or she has the onus of proving the value of that property. This is based on best evidence, which is usually documentary proof. To satisfy the Court, documentary proof can be a bank statement or an appraisal.

Property that a spouse brought into a marriage can sometimes be difficult to value. If it has been a lengthy marriage then it may be challenging for the spouse to obtain the necessary documents after many years have passed. For example, if the spouse had money in a bank account and that account had been closed several years prior. It is not unusual that the documents to support that the account existed are hard to find.

If documentary evidence is not available then other evidence would be based on the credibility of the spouse claiming the deduction or the credibility of a witness who had knowledge of the property.

Therefore, it will be less challenging and stressful for a spouse who unfortunately separates and came into a marriage with property, if that spouse kept documentary proof of the assets had on the date of marriage. If the bank statement was lost then it would be highly unlikely that a deduction for monies in a bank account would be accepted by the court as a date of marriage deduction.

If you would like to learn more about date of marriage deductions, you can visit our website. If you need legal advice about your own situation, please call us at 905-581-7222 for a consultation. Thanks for watching.