Hi, my name is Shilpa Mehta and I am an associate with Feldstein Family Law Group. Today, I will be discussing how family law in Ontario reserves the rights of a spouse with respect to the matrimonial home when he or she is not on title for this property. While our firm deals exclusively with family law matters, when it comes to the matrimonial home, you should note that there is an overlap between the law regarding property, in both real estate and family law.
If you had an opportunity to watch any of our other blogs regarding the matrimonial home, you will be familiar with the fact that the family dwelling holds a very special place in family law and especially in circumstances of separation and divorce. Under Ontario’s Family Law Act, both spouses have the right to possess or live in the matrimonial home whether or not both parties have legal ownership of the property. Consider the situation where you, or your spouse, have decided to separate, this does not allow the legal owner of the house to force the other one to move out. The legal owner of the property cannot change the locks or sell the property. Neither party can take steps with respect to the home without an agreement or court order. Recall that these property rights only apply to married parties and not those who are in common law relationships.
In today’s blog, I’m going to provide our viewers with some information regarding protecting the rights of a non-title holding spouse. As I previously explained, even if only one of the spouses owns the matrimonial home, he or she could not actually sell the home without the express written consent of the non-owning spouse. Family Law allows for one spouse to unilaterally register a designation of property owned by the other spouse as a matrimonial home. This designation will continue to be shown on the parcel register until it is removed by the spouse who registered it. In a nutshell, this designation lets everyone know that this property is a matrimonial home and therefore, the consent of both spouses is required before the home can be sold, mortgaged and so forth. Taking this step is key if you feel that your spouse may act wrongly with your home in the process of a separation or divorce.
If you require further information regarding the matrimonial home and separation, or simply want to consult with a lawyer regarding the matrimonial home through a separation, please contact us at (905) 581-7222 to schedule a consultation.
Thank you for taking the time to watch this presentation, and I hope that you have found it helpful. For more information about separation and matrimonial homes, please also visit our website.