The Intersection Between Real Estate and Family Law With Respect to Selling the Matrimonial Home

  • April 27, 2020
  • Katie Hunter, Krol & Krol Professional Corporation

Not infrequently, and much to their dismay, real estate lawyers may find themselves embroiled in the morass of family conflict, due to family law disputes regarding the sale of the matrimonial home.  It is important for real estate lawyers to be aware of the unique family law legislation and case law principles relating to selling a matrimonial home, including when both spouses are on title to the home and when only one spouse is on title.

A matrimonial home is defined in section 18(1) of the Family Law Act, R.S.O. 1990, c. F3 (“FLA”) as “Every property in which a person has an interest and that is or, if the spouses have separated, was at the time of separation ordinarily occupied by the person and his or her spouse as their family residence is their matrimonial home.”  This definition also means that there can be more than one matrimonial home – for instance, the parties’ ordinary residence in the city and a cottage.