During this COVID-19 global crisis, we need to ensure that our legal rights and wishes are protected. If you are currently separated from your spouse, it is imperative that you have a will and power of attorney in place to protect your personal and proprietary rights. Read More
The global pandemic of COVID-19 is changing the way we function as a society and the family law practice has also had to adapt to make sure our clients and fellow practitioners are safe.
On March 23, 2020, the Ontario court services were modified to adapt to physical distancing. At the moment, courts are only hearing motions on an emergency basis, however we anticipate there may be changes over the next few weeks to provide remote access which may increase the types of matters to be heard in the court.Read More
WHAT IS THIS “STRESS TEST” YOU ASK? It is a test used by Lenders to determine whether a borrower will be able to afford his/her mortgage payments in the event interest rates go up. The test itself requires that a mortgage applicant prove that he/she can make payments at the qualifying interest rate plus two percentage (2%) points OR the Bank of Canada’s five-year benchmark rate, whichever is higher. For example, if the Bank of Canada’s benchmark rate is 5.34% and the qualifying percentage is 3.75%, then the borrower would have to qualify for 5.75% (3.75% + 2%) as it is the higher of the two. Lenders are hoping that putting people through this test will cut down on the number of defaulting borrowers. At one time, borrowers did not need to worry about any form of stress test if they put down 20% or more of the purchase price when buying a home. Now, it does not matter how much the borrower puts down or whether they are refinancing their mortgage with a different financial institution, the Lender will put them through this test.
“The stress test has cut first-time homebuyers out of many markets in Canada and caused a ripple effect through every tier of homebuyer.”
When spouses separate, they will need to divide their assets and debts – this is called “net family property”. If there is a matrimonial or family home in the net family property, and it has to be sold or refinanced, the net sale proceeds or refinancing funds are only one part of the division of all the net family property.Read More
A separating couple may wish to jointly hire an appraiser or real estate agent in order to determine the value of the matrimonial home. A certified real estate appraiser’s valuation will be more accurate, but it will be more expensive to obtain, whereas a real estate agent’s letter of opinion will reflect a fair market value. Parties may also co-list the home with their own respective realtors.Read More
After a family separation, both spouses also have a right to live in or “occupy” the matrimonial home. If one spouse is able to buy out the other spouse’s equity in the home, then they may be able to stay in the home. However, if neither spouse is able to afford to buy out the other, the matrimonial home may need to be sold, which the Court can order under the Partition Act.Read More
Depending on whether a couple is married and considering a divorce or in a common law relationship, their rights will differ. Common law spouses are not married, and therefore do not have the same right to division of property or occupation as married spouses.Read More
Often the biggest family asset to be divided during a separation is the house. In the case of a marriage breakdown, the family home(s) or marital home where the spouses ordinarily lived is called the “matrimonial home”.Read More
“I want a divorce” … your heart skips a beat. Your breath is taken away. You doubt whether you heard it right. You’ve been blind-sided with those chilling words haunting your mind.
If you were the one to say them, you may have murmured them quietly with great sadness and resign. You could have shouted them in anger. Or, those words could have been rehearsed over and over in your head, only to come out too quickly to really hold all the weight of everything you feel.Read More