Shared assets like matrimonial homes require spousal consent to sell.
Your partner could run afoul of Ontario family law by listing your home without telling you or asking for spousal consent to sell property.
Axess Law applies on your behalf for exclusive possession of matrimonial homes after separation or divorce. We refer you to our trusted legal partners when court injunctions get complicated.
Matrimonial Home Rights
Your property rights are protected by law when you marry in or move to Ontario. Legally married spouses have a right to exclusive possession of any homes they own, even when not on title to the property.
Separation or Divorce Rights to Your Home
Separation or divorce has no effect on your homes. You can share with a separated or divorced partner or agree to live apart. You can even apply to Ontario family court to live temporarily or permanently in your home(s) on your own, without your spouse or after they die.
What is a Matrimonial Home?
Any Ontario home you ordinarily occupied as a couple — full time or for just a few days a year — could potentially be considered a matrimonial home. That includes boats, cottages, mobile homes on lake lots or foreign property you enjoyed together.
Your Right to Sell
Your right to a share in matrimonial homes allows you to force the sale of your properties under Ontario’s Partition Act. But waiting until your separation agreement or divorce application goes before a family court judge protects your long-term interests.
Who Pays Mortgages
A spousal or child support order may offset mortgage payments or other housing costs you can’t afford on your own. Your spouse could be required to pay the mortgage as long as your children are minors or, if you are childless, until you become financially independent.
Selling Under Duress
What if your spouse tries to sell without your agreement?
Your signature on a spousal consent form to sell property is legally required in Ontario. We understand the pressure to sell, especially when a spouse has debts, can be enormous. Undue influence or duress to sell is a serious issue for family court judges.
Take a step back instead. You have to be comfortable that the decision is right for you and your family.
4 Signs a Sale is Unfair
- Your children have to change schools and don’t want to.
- A sale will affect your quality of life. You can’t buy a replacement home in an area where you want to live. Rents are unaffordable.
- A changed commute to work is inconvenient. You’d have less time with your children or child care expenses would go up significantly.
- Your spouse is selling to a relative or friend for less than fair market value. That cheats you out of an equal share of your net family assets.
Selling Without Consent
You may not be on the title to the property. But as a spouse you are required to agree before a matrimonial home can be sold.
Whether you are a joint tenant on the registered title or share a matrimonial home your spouse owns, Axess Law ensures you sign the acknowledgement and direction for title of transfer before closing real estate sales.
We refer you to our legal partners if your spouse has sold the home against your will or without your knowledge.
Overturning Prenuptial Arrangements
Written contracts made before or after marriage, like legally valid prenuptial agreements in Ontario, may be made in the early stages of a relationship. Years or even decades of marriage can change financial obligations and lifestyle expectations.
Judges understand staying home to care for children or helping a spouse operate a startup business affect your financial needs. You may be older and need retraining to resume or start a career.
Courts look at your current circumstances before deciding how to equalize assets in a divorce with investments at stake.
Stopping Undue Influence
Ontario courts can set aside matrimonial home sales made without fully informed consent.
That could expose your spouse to legal action by the buyer if they moved in without your knowledge. Your spouse can be forced to forfeit the buyer’s deposit if an agreement of purchase and sale was signed.
Quite simply, the buyer’s real estate lawyer must refuse the closing documents if both legally married spouses don’t sign. Your spouse’s sale lacks full force and effect.
Fortunately for you, it’s doomed to fail.
Legal Steps You Can Take
Your ex-spouse can’t legally evict you without a court order for exclusive possession of the home. That gives you time to get a second opinion from Axess Law on whether a sale can be overturned.
We refer you to trusted legal partners who can help you get an injunction when a home sale is wrongful. Ask us about family lawyers in Ontario who can defend your case in court .
Flat Fee Legal Services Near You
Our real estate lawyers in Ottawa, Toronto and Greater Toronto Area do document searches, find property surveys and register homes with local land titles offices.
We handle discharge of mortgage documents and arrange signatures for mortgage insurance and new mortgages with banks or mortgage lenders. If you are being forced or pressured to sell or your home has been sold without your permission, we give you brief legal information and refer your case to trusted legal partners.
See 25 questions to ask a real estate lawyer if you’re wondering what does a real estate lawyer do in Ontario anyway? .
Low Flat Fee Legal Services
Axess Law has cheap lawyers who make getting legal advice easier. You pay less than for traditional real estate lawyer services.Independent legal advice is only $349.99 plus HST. Our partners in law in Ontario take over your file when you need advice for legal action or to respond to a pending court case. If you do decide to sell, we have affordable mortgage discharge fees.
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