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Property brought to the relationship

The value of property that you owned when you got married is not divided.

Exception: if property you owned before the marriage increases in value during the marriage, you have to share the increase in value. (e.g. investments)

Each partner keeps the property owned by that spouse before the relationship

Property bought during the relationship

The value of the property you buy during the relationship is divided between the two spouses.


This applies to property that is solely owned by a spouse and property jointly owned by both spouses.

Each partner keeps the property bought by that person during the relationship. If the couple buys any property together, then you divide it (or divide the value of it)

Family home

The home of a married couple is called the matrimonial home. Special rights apply. Regardless of ownership, each spouse is entitled to half. This applies even if one spouse already owned the house when the couple married or if one spouse inherited it.

Both spouses have a right to stay in the home regardless of ownership. Both spouses have a right to ask for an order of exclusive possession.

If you are not married then this is not a matrimonial home, and there are no special right of occupation or of ownership, as married couples have.

The home is treated like any other property. If you bought it together, then you divide it. There is no right of exclusive possession you cannot get an order to exclude the other spouse the way married couples can.

If only one spouse bought the home, then it is not even a family home. The other spouse has no rights to stay in the house.

The other spouse has no right to receive a share of its value (the exception to this is if you want to argue a claim in the law of trusts).




Continue to Part 2.4 - Equalization
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