Despite being in your family for generations, there is still a solid chance of losing your cottage in divorce to your spouse that you shouldn’t take lightly. In this episode of Real Estate 101: The Home Buying and Selling Show, real estate expert Joe Terceira is joined by family law and divorce lawyer John Schuman to discuss how you can make sure the cottage stays yours and doesn’t go to your ex.
How Can Your Spouse Claim Ownership Over Your Cottage? Three Ways of Losing Your Cottage
There are three ways that you can end up losing your cottage to your spouse after divorce
- The cottage was used by both of you, it becomes a matrimonial home if you two are married
- If the cottage is a matrimonial home and the spouse is entitled to use it after separation
- If the spouse has put a lot of contribution (money or something other) into the cottage, then they can claim an ownership interest in it.
How Can Your Ex Spouse Continue to Use the Cottage After Separation?
The cottage becomes a matrimonial home if you and your spouse live together there and are married. According to the Ontario Family Law, both spouses have an equal right to occupy the matrimonial home, regardless if it is your primary residence, cottage or secondary residence.
This gives your ex spouse equal right to occupy or use the cottage and the stuff in it as you do after separation, despite it being in your family long before the two of you got married in the first place.
This situation can continue while you are separated and until you either get divorced, agree that the spouse is no longer allowed to use the cottage and what is in it or until a court order says so.
Can You Lose Your Cottage Entirely?
Under Ontario Family Law, losing your cottage in divorce to the ex-spouse entirely is not easy. But, it can happen, so you should do what you can not to let this happen.
According to the Ontario Family Law, you and your spouse don’t share the assets, such as the cottage, themselves, but rather the value of those assets. This means that your spouse doesn’t get automatic ownership of your assets and vice versa.
However, if the cottage is a matrimonial home and is not protected against being one, then its full value goes into the calculation of your net family property that is to be divided. The spouse is entitled to half of your matrimonial property.
Watch this episode to learn more about losing your cottage in divorce .
For more information on family law contact:
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