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Legal Ease
Legal Ease, Lawyer
Category: Canada Law
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Experience:  Lawyer
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My boyfriend is a small business ower in Ontario and the business

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My boyfriend is a small business ower in Ontario and the business owes the government about $80,000 in back payroll taxes and HST collections. He owns and lives in a home (past marital home) but has been living appart from his wife for 8 years. The has told the goverment that he will sell the house to pay what is owed. There is still a large mortage but probably $110,000 equity in the home. He wants to get divorced now. He will have to sell the house to pay the Governement and give what may to owed to the spouse as the divorce settlement. Does what is owed to the Government take precident on the proceeds from the sale and the remainder get split between the two of them? Could it possibly be done that simply without going in the valuation at the separation date?
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Canada Law
Expert:  Legal Ease replied 11 months ago.

Debra Thal :

Thank you for your question.

Before I begin I want to explain a bit about how the site works.

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As well, please understand that as a careful lawyer I will always give you an honest answer even if the answer is sometimes not what you were hoping for.

Finally, as we go through the process please do not feel rushed if I ask you a question. You are always free to take your time to gather more information before you post back. As well, please understand that even after you rate me the post will not lock and you could always come back for further clarification if you think of something a bit later on down the road.

Debra Thal :

Is his name the only name on title?

Debra Thal :

Is there a separation agreement in place?

Customer:

Yes, the house is only in his name. After they separated she signed a legal document placing the house in his name. No, there is no separation agreement in place. They are on good terms with each other. He is 62 and their children are grown and self sufficient.

Debra Thal :

If the house is in his name then if the government registers a lien on title this lien will come first.

Debra Thal :

But otherwise, the government is not entitled to her interest, if any, in the house.

Debra Thal :

However, she is not able to sue after 8 years of separation unless there is an agreement.

Debra Thal :

The limitation period for suing for a family asset is 6 years from the date of separation or 2 years after the divorce judgment is signed, which ever comes first.

Debra Thal :

So if there is no agreement in place that gives her a right to an interest in that house she may be out of luck.

Customer:

He gave her a $10,000 payment (not legally documented) when they separated. Other that that there has been no payments or written agreements. I moved in with him this past week and when she heard about this she mentioned to him that I should not put any money into the house as it is still the matrimonial home and she would get half if he died. They have been appart for 8 years without a separation agreement. So it may be up to him how much of the proceeds he wishes to give to her (he is a good man and wants to be fair). It may not be a legal half and half split if there is a divorce.

Debra Thal :

She is not the least bit correct.

Debra Thal :

It's not the matrimonial home any more.

Debra Thal :

And even if it was that does not got to ownership.

Debra Thal :

She will not get a thing if he dies unless there is an agreement or order to the contrary.

Debra Thal :

And at this point I am concerned about him giving her assets that the government may be entitled to.

Debra Thal :

So he should actual consult with a family lawyer face to face at this point.

Customer:

Yes. He is persuing this. The debt has to be paid. We don't know if we should contact a divorce lawyer or a realestate lawyer.

Customer:

The house has to be sold to pay off the debt.

Debra Thal :

He should speak to any lawyer at this point.

Debra Thal :

He just has to be careful not to give her any money before he does.

Customer:

Yes. I agree. Thank you. You have been very helpful. I was under the impression that since they were legally still married it would still be the matrimonial home. But since there was no separation agreement, the title was changed to only his name, and they have been appart for over 6 years, she may have no claim on the house.

Customer:

This means more of the equity can go to pay the debt.

Debra Thal :

Yes it sure sounds like it.

Customer:

Thank you Debra.

Debra Thal :

You are very welcome.

Legal Ease, Lawyer
Category: Canada Law
Satisfied Customers: 86223
Experience: Lawyer
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