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Entitlement to my spouse's settlement

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Anonymous Asked:

My spouse and I have been together for 10 years and 9 months, living together for over 5 years.. We have been talking about selling our home or him buying me out.. I'm not sure which would be best for me because I'm in between jobs, he's a property appraiser and makes decent money... also, 1.5 years ago he got a settlement for a workplace accident in the amount of 303K.... I'm struggling to decide what to do and what I'm entitled to. Would I be entitled to some of that 303k if he buys me out or should I agree to selling the house and we split everything 50/50?
Thanks in advance for the advice.

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Jennifer M. Long, B.A. J.D.
5 years ago

Ontario’s  Family Law Act  (FLA) sets out the regime for property division between spouses upon the breakdown of a marriage. Central to this regime is the calculation of each party’s "net family property" (NFP).  NFP  is the value of each party’s property on the date of separation, taking into account all assets and liabilities, date of marriage assets and debts, and excluded property as set out in the Family Law Act. Since determining each party's net worth (or NFP) can be complicated and there are special rules about the matrimonial home, inheritances, damages for personal injuries etc., you should consult with a lawyer to assist you in determining what you are entitled to and what is possible for you.  Complete financial disclosure must be made in order to properly prepare the equalization calculations. Once you have completed the equalization calculations, have spoken to a lawyer about the various properties/rules and exclusions, you can determine whether a sale or buy-out of the matrimonial home is possible and what a fair buy-out price might be. However, until you have a complete picture of how equalization/property division  works in Ontario, I cannot advise you on your best option or even on what number a buy out might be based on.
With respect to your spouse’s workplace accident and the settlement he received, pursuant to section 4(2) of the  Family Law Act, damages received for personal injuries are generally excluded property and do not form part of a spouse’s property for division with you unless for example  the monies were invested into the matrimonial home. I strongly recommend that you speak with a lawyer about your situation in detail as he or she will be able to explain the equalization process to you in greater detail and how it will apply based on the specific facts of your case since this can be complicated - an error or lack of legal advice can "cost" you thousands and thousands of dollars if you lack an understanding of how equalization etc. works

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