PROBLEMS WHEN ONE PARTY OWNS THE MATRIMONIAL HOME WHILE THE OTHER PARTY POSSESSES IT
The case of Verch v. Verch, 2012 ONSC 2621 deals with a very interesting problem.
The parties wanted to divide net family property. The matrimonial home was the main asset of the marriage. It was worth approximately $350 000.00 was was virtually unencumbered. The matrimonial home was in the Husband’s name only and the Husband wanted to reside in it after the separation.
The Wife, however, successfully brought a motion for her and the children to live in the matrimonial home. During the motion the judge also ordered the Husband to continue paying the matrimonial home’s insurance and property taxes. The Husband did not follow the Order. Unpaid property taxes accumulated.
The Mother could not pay the property taxes herself because she had no asset for security. She could not use the matrimonial home for security because it did not belong to her.
The municipality intended to sell the home to pay the back taxes. The Wife suggested to the court that the Husband intended to purchase the home at the auction, which would allow him to circumvent the court’s previous Order and occupy the matrimonial home.
The Honourable Justice Brian W. Abrams affirmed that the court has broad powers to impose remedies. He ordered the Husband to essentially give the house to the Wife. The calculation of the payment for the equalization of net family property would reflect the change of assets. The Wife could encumber the home, however, to get sufficient sums to insure the home and to pay property taxes only.
The Husband can lose a $350 000.00 asset if the Wife goes bankrupt. It doesn’t pay to ignore court orders!!