Ending a marriage requires meticulous planning, and it is not typically a process to be rushed. It is only natural for most people who are in the throes of divorce to want to hold on to as many assets as possible. Understanding family laws that are applicable in Ontario can ease the process.
In Ontario's property division laws, there is a clear distinction between assets owned before the marriage and those accumulated during the marriage. Although certain exceptions exist, all assets acquired in the years of marriage belongs to both parties. If one spouse enters the marriage already owning assets valued at $1 million, he or she will not have to share that in the event of a divorce.
However, if the other spouse entered with no assets but accumulated $400,000 during the marriage, each party will receive $200,000 if they divorce because the $400,000 will be marital assets and, therefore, divisible. It is not uncommon for spouses to hide some of the assets gathered during the marriage in order to avoid sharing it. Courts do not take kindly to such shenanigans, and the consequences can be significant.
Anyone in Ontario who is considering divorce and has questions about the legalities of property division can get answers from an experienced family law lawyer. If there are suspicions that a soon-to-be ex is hiding assets, a lawyer can help address those circumstances appropriately. An attorney will know how to handle investigations to uncover the truth and also seek sanctions against a spouse who tries to secret assets during divorce proceedings.
Source: moneysense.ca, "How can I keep more assets in divorce?", Romana King, Accessed on Nov. 3, 2017