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Is the 6 year rule for settlement of home and assets written in stone or can it be extended?

Anonymous Asked:

My husband and I have been separated for 6 years this coming August. Can I ask for an extension to the time limit or can it be extended at all? If my husband who has moved out and is living with someone else and has a home together will not agree on a fair settlement financially it is my understanding that the court could order the home to be sold and assets split. If this happens I could not afford to buy or even rent a suitable home or apartment for myself and my children. What options are available to me for extending the deadline or a fair settlement if he is unwilling to be flexible?

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8 months ago

Thank you for your question.
Limitation periods vary by Province. As an example, in Ontario the limitation for making a property claim is 6 years from the date of separation, or 2 years from the date of divorce, whichever comes first. However, the Family Law Act does permit, in certain circumstances, the extension of these limitation periods. However, a person should never assume that a limitation period will be extended. As such, as you believe that a limitation period may expire this August you should immediately speak with one of our lawyers about whether you should be protecting the limitation period. If you should be then you should take steps to have Court commenced to protect the limitation period. If Court is commenced you do not have to immediately serve the material, rather you can then seek to negotiate a resolution and then, only if necessary, serve the material (if you are in a jurisdiction where there is no case management).
In contrast, you may actually wish the limitation period to expire depending on your facts. For example, if the home is only in your name (you have not provided this information in your question) then you may actually want the limitation period to expire as he would be seeking part of the home (if only in your name) through the equalization of property process that is subject to the limitation periods.
In short, these are complicated issues and you should contact one of our lawyers, in the jurisdiction where you reside, to have a free consultation and take steps to protect the limitation period if that is what is best for you based on your unique facts.

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