Matrimonial Home Mediation
For married couples, the matrimonial home is defined as one that a couple “ordinarily occupies.” This means that a couple can have more than one matrimonial home such as: condos in warmer climates, cottages, mobile homes, or even trailers.
The matrimonial home has special status among a couple’s assets. Regardless of which spouse is actually on legal title of the matrimonial home, both spouses have equal right to occupy the matrimonial home after marriage.
Further, if either spouse received the matrimonial home as a gift or an inheritance, the matrimonial home becomes an asset to be shared between the spouses. Lastly, a marriage contract (or prenuptial agreement) cannot override the fact that both spouses have equal rights to the matrimonial home upon separation.
Notwithstanding the special status of the matrimonial home, our trained mediators can help you come to an amicable agreement on favourable timing if the house must be sold, in order for the proceeds to be split equally. In some situations, one spouse is able to buy out the other’s share of the house so children can keep attending the same school.
For common-law couples, each retains their property rights, so the principle of a matrimonial home does not apply. But, if you have been living with your common-law partner for years, or have spent money on improvements and renovations of the house, you may have a beneficial interest (or constructive trust) in the home.
There is a 10-year limitation period if you are a common-law partner to claim a beneficial interest in your ex-spouse’s home.