Family Law Blog

Can My Spouse Change The Locks on Our Matrimonial Home Just Because I Am Not On Title?

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When spouses are married, the home (or homes) in which they lived together, and separated are special.  Those properties are "matrimonial homes."   In Ontario, on separation and until there is a Divorce Order, both spouses are equally entitled to stay in the matrimonial home, regardless of who owns it. That means one spouse cannot do anything to "kick out" the other or prevent their estranged spouse from going back into your home other than getting a court order for “exclusive possession.”  That Order gives one spouse the exclusive rigth to be in the home.   Click this link for a lot more information on spouses rights to stay in matrimonial homes.



Ontario Family Law Podcast

9 - Property Division in Ontario After Marriage

29 - Common Law Separation and Property Division


It is important to note that spouses who are not legally married (
common law couples) do not have matrimonial homes and common law couples do not have rights under Ontario Family Law to stay in a home after separation.   There may be things a common law spouse can do under landlord tenant law or other laws.  But, if the end of the relationship is going that badly, speak to a top family law lawyer right away. 



When the spouse who is not “on title” contributed to the value in the home, that may give that “non-titled spouse” an ownership interest in the property under the
Principles of Equity.   Those principles operate when spouses

1. treated a home owned by one of them as if it was really owned by both of them and

2. one spouse has lost out as a result.

Clearly that is not fair, and fairness is what the Principles of Equity are about. 


However, for married spouses, making a claim under Equity for an interest in a property is harder because the value of matrimonial homes is always included in Ontarios Equalization of Property on separation - unless there is a marriage contract.  If the value of the home is already being shared, one spouse does not really lose out unless there is a big change in the value of a matrimonial home after separation.  Consult with a lawyer if that may be the case.

 



Hopefully, if one spouse changes the locks, the police will recognize the other spouse's rights under
Part 2 of the Family Law Act.  If the police recognize those rights, the officers will let both spouses enter the home until there is a divorce or another court order preventing it.  But if the police will not assist with gaining access to the home, it may be time to start the Family Court Process.


Guide to the Basics of Ontario Family Law - 4th edition cover

You can get a lot more information about Ontario Family Law issues, including property division, support, and most other common family law issues by downloading this $9.99 Kindle eBook, Kobo eBook, or iBook for your iPad or iPhone or ordering it from Amazon as a paperback. But, it is always best to speak to a good family law lawyer.

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But the best way to protect yourself, your investment in your home and other things and people that are important to you, is to find out how the law applies specifically to your situation and what steps you should take to get things to work out for you. Contact Certified Specialist in Family Law (and author of the book above), John Schuman, by emailing him, calling 416-446-5869, or using the contact form below.  We answer all inquiries promptly and we can arrange for you to come in quickly for a consultation (charged at a reduced hourly rate). 


Feel free to share this page on your social network by clicking on the buttons below.  To contact John Schuman about your case, or comment on this page, use the form below.

We Have Custody of Our Grandchild: Can We Get Child Support?

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Biological parents are always child support payers under the Child Support Guidelines and they always pay the full table amount.   When a child is in the care of someone who is not a biological (or adoptive) parent,  each biological parents is required to pay full table support - unless the child has been adopted as adoption severs the legal ties between a child and parents.   If a parent  is not self employed or earns most of his or her income from a source other than a salary, government benefits or other predictable and easy-to-calculate source, then child support is a simple calculation done using the Child Support Guidelines and the tables.   It is so simple, that there is an online government service for calculating and setting up child support that can replace court if the support payor and support recipient agree.  

Ontario Family Law Podcast

When the parties do not qualify for that service or someone does not agree to use it, it may be necessary to go to court, although there are still other alternatives to court - either mediation, mediation/arbitration or Collaborative Practice.  For even more information about child support, and the options for getting it, pick up a copy of this easy-to-understand book on Ontario Family Law and see a top Family Law Lawyer

10 - Child Support - Who Pays and How Much?

11 - Child Support's Special and Extraordinary Expenses

For big expenses in relation to children, there may be additional child support obligation. Orthodontics, child care, high level sports, medical expenses and other large expeneses would be “section 7 expenses.” The Child Support Guidelines say the cost of such expenses should be shared be all “parents” - the custodial parents and the biological parents - in proportion to their incomes.  For more information on child support and section 7 expenses, listen to the podcasts to the left. 

Guide to the Basics of Ontario Family Law - 4th edition cover


You can get a lot more information about Ontario Family Law issues, including a further explanation of child support, the rights of grandparents and other parenting legal issues by downloading this $9.99 e-book for KindleKobo, or iPad/iPhone/Mac or ordering the paperback version.  But, to keep out of trouble, it is always best to speak with a good family law lawyer.

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Get the help of a lawyer immediately to avoid financial hardship for both you and the kids.  Child support is the right of the child.  Contact Certified Specialist in Family Law (and author of the book above), John Schuman, by emailing him, calling 416-446-5869, or using the contact form below.  We answer all inquiries promptly and we can arrange for you to come in quickly for a consultation (charged at a reduced hourly rate).

 


Many thousands of people get family law assistance from this website everyday.  If you have found this page useful, please share it on your social network using the Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest buttons at the bottom of the page.  Please comment on this page using the comments section at the bottom to share your thoughts on the legal parenting issues after separation and how to best to protect the children.

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