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Are hockey tickets shared property under Ontario divorce law?

Long before the internet coined the term, "gaming fever," Canadians, past and present, were known for their fervent attachment to ice hockey. Love for this quintessential Canadian sport extends from province to province, its wins and losses discussed interminably wherever fans meet up -- in pubs, workplaces and even in the home. When Ontario couples decide to separate or divorce, the court's decisions about what constitutes shared property may be completely unexpected.

In a recent case, that's just what happened. All seemed reasonably settled when a couple formally separated after 35 years of marriage. Both ardent hockey fans, one partner suddenly realized that the separation agreement didn't cover the season hockey tickets. Hard to come by, season tickets included playoff games which had been enjoyed by both spouses for 11 years.

Over that period of time, the tickets had always been exclusively in the husband's name even though both spouses had attended the games together. The wife filed an interim matrimonial property application, requesting that the tickets continue to be shared. While it may seem like a trivial cause for legal application, it is only one example of how dissolving a shared life can affect even its least obvious part, such as family enjoyment.

The court ruled in the wife's favour based on the fact that the tickets were acquired during the marriage and met the legal condition of household goods. An experienced family law practitioner might guide a client in identifying all assets that fall under the legal definition of shared property in Ontario. Accurately documenting common property in a separation or divorce can often be complex and is only one of the important issues that an Ontario family law lawyer can help clarify.

Source:, "Judge referees dispute over Edmonton Oilers season tickets", John Cotter, Accessed on Oct. 30, 2017

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