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The Matrimonial Home: Selling After Divorce or Separation



As long-serving real estate agents, we’ve supported a number of clients who found themselves in the process of selling their homes following a divorce or separation. In our years of experience, we’ve become knowledgeable about the various financial logistics and legalities that can impact both parties in this complex process. Like any transaction, it’s our goal to reduce the stress of the often complicated and emotional time as much as possible. 

A few months ago we published a blog post talking about a few of the most common pathways for selling a home following a divorce or separation – you can click here to give it a read

This post will cover additional information about the various legalities of selling your home following a divorce or separation including how various regulations may differ for non-married or common-law partners. 

Note: Before you can proceed with your home sale you and your former partner will need to complete a formal separation agreement. Click here to learn more

Finding Compassionate Expert Support

With a number of legal and financial implications involved, the best place to start with selling your home following a divorce or separation is with a trustworthy and empathetic real estate agent. As a neutral and unbiased professional, your agent can take on the heavy lifting involved with selling so you can focus on navigating a difficult period of transition. 

In addition to the standard elements of a successful home sale, this process will involve a few specialty considerations such as potential buyouts, joint sales, and appraisals. Thankfully there are real estate professionals, such as our team, who have vast experience with these kinds of transactions. 

Looking for helpful information about selling your home in West Toronto? Explore these resources from our blog to learn how you can maximize your sale. 

Can Parties Work With Separate Agents?

Ideally, both parties (ie you and your former partner) will have a shared real estate agent who you are comfortable working with. This can make the selling process much easier and smoother. However, given the emotional nature of divorce or separation, on occasion one or both parties may push for working with a personal agent that they think will best protect their interests. So is this feasible? 

Yes, but there are caveats. While co-listing agreements are possible, not all agents and brokerages will agree to enter one. Therefore, if you’re unsure about sharing a real estate agent with your former partner, you will both need to find a professional who is willing to work alongside another agent.

What is the Marital Home?

In Ontario, couples who have legally married will automatically share equal rights to their home – regardless of whichever partner’s name is on the title or mortgage. This regulation predetermines a number of essential rights in the event of a divorce, including granting both parties equal rights to the ‘Marital Home’. 

With this in mind, navigating the selling process is easiest when both you and your former partner are in agreement about what to do with the home. Mainly, whether or not one of you will continue living there, or if you would like to proceed with a joint sale. 

Today’s housing market provides unique opportunities for buyers. Explore these posts from our blog for a head start on finding your next home. 

How Does it Impact Common-Law or Unmarried Partners?

Today, it’s not uncommon for couples to move in together or even purchase a home together before getting married. While common-law relationships can be similar to a marriage, they’re still different from a legal perspective. This can introduce new complexities in the event of a separation. 

Unlike married couples, the marital home does not automatically apply to common-law partners. In most instances of a common-law separation, each partner keeps their individual belongings, and any shared assets are divided up equally. Because a home is a larger and more intricate asset, it’s typically sold with the proceeds and then split equally between partners. 

As a compassionate and experienced team of agents, we can guide you through the complex process of selling during a divorce or separation. Your sale is in good hands. Send us an email or call 416-769-6050 to get started.

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