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Getting divorced in Ontario


October 9th. 2012

It seems we have all either gone through a divorce personally, or supported a close friend/family member who did.? Did you know that divorce is governed in Ontario pursuant to the Family Law Act, and that each individual province has their own set of Provincial law statutes? Further, each Provincial Act has its own overriding objective with the caveat that the court can basically divide the property in any manner it wishes in order to avoid an unfair or inequitable division.? In Ontario, the objective is to orderly and equitably settle the affairs of spouses, with many references to value throughout the Family Law Act, but no definition or guidance as to how to value. What does this all mean?? Well, it means that the valuation of your business you completed last year to validate the purchase of insurance, or effect the reorganization of your corporate structure will not necessarily carry any weight in a divorce proceeding.? That fair value often has more relevance in divorce court than fair market value. It also means that acceptable practice and current trends in matrimonial valuation issues are constantly changing as each court decision is made and as corresponding case law sets new precedents.? Current matrimonial valuation topics include the valuation of trust interests, multiple family member ownership, the double dipping issue, special shares and the effect of restrictive business /shareholder agreements. If you or someone you know is currently working through a divorce, it is imperative that you retain experienced professionals to help them navigate through the process and all related issues as efficiently as possible. ?

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