It very much depends on the circumstances. You can’t really look at two individual properties and split them up and say that it’s necessarily a fair settlement. When people separate, they have to look at the value of all the assets that accumulated during the marriage, not just two pieces of individual property. For example, you have to look at shares, bonds, and in some cases pensions, and then you have to get values of these assets by experts. Depending on the circumstances, it may be that sharing the properties is fair and legal. However, in most cases, before you divide up individual pieces of property, it’s important to get a snapshot of the whole picture to ensure that the property is divided or equalized according to the law.
Ken Nathens is a partner in the law firm of Nathens Siegel, a Toronto firm that restricts its practice to divorce and family-law issues. Ken has experience in all aspects of divorce and Ontario family law and devotes much of his time to assisting clients with custody and access disputes.