What is a matrimonial home?
The Family Law Act defines a matrimonial home as folows: Every property in which a person has an interest and that is or, if the spouses have separated, was at the time of separation ordinarily occupied by the person and his or her spouse as their family residence is their matrimonial home.
Under the Family Law Act, it is given a special status in the event of a separation or divorce. This means that both spouses have certain rights and protections. For example, both spouses have an equal right to possession of the home, regardless of who owns it or whose name is on the title. In addition, neither spouse can sell, mortgage, or otherwise dispose of the home without the other spouse’s consent or a court order.
The special status of the matrimonial home also means that its value is subject to specific rules regarding property division. For example, if one spouse owned the home before the marriage, the increase in value of the home during the marriage may be subject to equalization (i.e., divided equally between the spouses) upon separation or divorce.
It is important to note that the rules regarding matrimonial homes can be complex, and they may be affected by other factors such as prenuptial agreements or the presence of dependents. Book a FREE, 30-minute, joint, online consultation to learn more about the mediation process and how we can support you through your separation.