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Division of property on separation
or divorce is determined under provincial legislation - in Ontario, this is the
Family Law Act.
Ontario Family Law Act
Subsection 5(6) of the Ontario Family Law Act sets out the (vary rare) circumstances in a separation or divorce when a court will deviate from an equalization of net family properties.
Variation of Equalization Payment
The court may award a spouse an amount that is more or less than half the difference between the net family properties if the court is of the opinion that equalizing the net family properties would be unconscionable, having regard to,
[These are the circumstances under which property can be divided unequally in a separation or divorce. In practice, it is difficult to convince a court that there should be an unequal division of property.]
(a) a spouse's failure to disclose to the other spouse debts or other liabilities existing at the date of the marriage;
(b) the fact that debts or other liabilities claimed in reduction of a spouses' net family property were incurred recklessly or in bad faith;
(c) the part of a spouse's net family property that consists of gifts made by the other spouse;
(d) a spouse's intentional or reckless depletion of his or her net family property;
(e) the fact that the amount a spouse would otherwise receive under subsection (1), (2) or (3) is disproportionately large in relation to a period of cohabitation that is less than five years;
(f) the fact that one spouse has incurred a disproportionately larger amount of debts or other liablities than the other spouse for the support of the family;
(g) a written agreement between the spouses that is not a domestic contract; or
(h) any other circumstance relating to the acquisition, disposition, preservation, maintenance or improvement of property.
Return to Family Law Act index.