Having problems with a spouse or divorced partner who insists on staying in a matrimonial home you want to sell?
Don’t let real property issues hold you back. Our trusted legal partners take your case to Ontario family court to get a legal order of forced sale.
Ask Axess Law to review your marriage contract to see who gets the matrimonial homes if you separate or divorce. We can document your request to sell or share matrimonial homes in a draft separation agreement for your spouse’s lawyer to review.
When your spouse is agreeable to a joint or uncontested divorce, we file legal documents necessary to end your marriage once and for all. Or refer you to a family lawyer for property division advice.
Spousal Consent and Real Estate (Ontario)
Checked your tenancy status lately? Who owns property you bought as a couple or inherited depends on it.
You and your spouse are joint tenants if both of you have an equal share in property ownership.
When both your names are on the title to a property, joint consent is needed for decisions such as selling or leasing homes you own together as a legally married couple.
Tenants in Common
On the other hand, if you have unequal shares — you own 25% and he owns 75% — or other parties co-own property with you, you are tenants in common.
Extended family or business partners you co-share mortgages with, or friends you borrowed from to make a deposit or down payment, may have an interest in how your matrimonial home is disposed of if you separate as a couple.
Selling could require you to negotiate with parents, in-laws, siblings or third parties with an emotional or financial encumbrance on ownership of your home or who are listed on title to the property.
That could complicate your ability to list and sell homes you no longer want or can afford. Axess Law real estate lawyers research the title to your property and advise who’s on title before you go to court.
Selling After Marital Breakup
Legally married couples who break up have equal rights to live in shared matrimonial homes or ask the court for exclusive possession.
You can continue living there whether or not you have a formal separation agreement, are divorcing or are no longer married. (Click here if you are living common law and want to separate.)
Provided you live separate and apart in your home and don’t do things as a couple, such as dine as a family or go out together, sharing a home has no real impact on a divorce application.
Who gets the matrimonial home in separation or divorce depends on your finances and family circumstances. Who has the most income or cares for children can decide if you get to keep a home, who pays the mortgage and how property taxes and maintenance are paid.
You’ll need a court order to sell matrimonial homes without your spouse’s consent, change locks, remove their possessions or otherwise prevent your spouse from continuing to live there.
See our tips on getting exclusive possession.
What Happens to Inherited Real Property
Inherited property is only shared if:
- it was bequeathed to you as a couple, or
- it was co-mingled with joint family assets.
For example, if an in-law willed real property to your spouse, but you contributed to its upkeep, you could be entitled to a share during divorce. Mortgage payments, property taxes or home insurance you contribute to may qualify for equalization of net family assets when you divide marital property.
Likewise, if your spouse sells inherited property and puts the proceeds in a joint bank account, you could be entitled to an equal share, even if you didn’t inherit the home yourself.
We refer you to a mediator, arbitrator or family lawyer if you and your spouse don’t agree on how to split inherited property that has been co-mingled as joint assets.
Forced Sale of Marital Property
A court-ordered forced sale can free up a matrimonial home a spouse refuses to leave but you want to profit from or can no longer afford. Whether you need the income to pay debts or just want to take advantage of real estate markets, we make referrals to trusted legal partners.
Professional advisors in real estate law (Ontario) help you apply for court injunctions when you want a spouse to:
- move out, if that’s a financial option
- keep your home presentable for open houses or private viewings
- allow real estate agents to enter and show the home for sale
- and transfer the title to a new owner.
Of course, your spouse could buy you out. But it must be for fair market value and you must consent in writing.
Having full title to the property gives your spouse the right to do whatever they wish. They can sell matrimonial homes, hold for now, refinance mortgages or bequeath their home as they wish.
Your rights are limited to a share of the proceeds if they sell and you apply for divorce.
Common questions you ask us about real estate law in Ontario.
Why You Need a Lawyer
Hiring an Axess Law family or real estate lawyer (Ontario) can take the confusion out of forcing the sale of matrimonial homes.
Titles and Discharge of Mortgage
Our real estate lawyer (Toronto, Greater Toronto Area and Ottawa) service performs document searches to prove title to your home or transfer title when you sell. We liaise with your lender about your mortgage discharge. And negotiate with buyers’ lawyers to close the deal on time.
Removing Conditions in Sales Contracts
Axess Law finalizes your agreement of purchase and sale by confirming conditions of sale have been met. Home inspections, mortgage financing and delays to sell a home before buying yours can hold up offers to purchase. We prepare the paperwork for requests for extensions to closing dates and advise you if a real estate falls through, who gets the deposit.
Unsatisfactory home inspections can result in requests from buyers’ lawyers to reduce your price or make repairs before the purchase is complete. We negotiate solutions that keep your home sale on track.
Adjusted Statement of Accounts
Axess Law gives you a final statement of adjustments showing your share of the closing costs and our legal fees — no hidden fees or surprises.
Savings You Can Count On
Our low flat fee legal services are available virtually or in person at our Ottawa and Greater Toronto Area Axess Law locations. We offer virtual real estate closings via secure, remote video call conferences, anywhere in Ontario.
You pay just $799.99 and up plus HST to sell your home.
We have onsite parking and transit is nearby. Make day or evening appointments — we’re open 7 days a week.
Book Legal Appointments Online or By Phone
Operators at our 1-647-479-0118 lawyer line can arrange virtual or in person appointments to suit your schedule. Toll free calls accepted at 1-877-402-4207. Book online to save time. It takes just minutes to reserve your own appointment.