Family Law Issues in Real Estate


I recently gave a seminar for the Kitchener Waterloo Real Estate Board on Family Law issues in Real Estate with my business partner, Barry Paquette, who is a Certified Specialist by the Law Society of Upper Canada in Family Law.

One of the most misunderstood aspects of family law issues in real estate is “What is a Common Law relationship.” A Common Law Relationship is legally defined as 2 people living together for three (3) years, or a relationship which has a child from it. Many people will refer to themselves as common law without meeting these criteria.

It is important to note that even if the parties meet the legal definition of common law, this does not mean that they have any interest in the other persons property. A legal common law relationship can impose support obligations on each other. However, parties must legally be married, before a party acquires any interest in real property. Thus from an agents point of view in common law circumstances, the consent of the common law partner is never required to list or sell the property. This applies even in the case of the matrimonial home. Only if both parties are on the title – would both have to sign, which would be obvious in any circumstance.

Knowledge is Power, which results in more business!

If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us at your convenience. We would love to hear from you!

Prepared by Don Travers, Solicitor with Paquette & Travers Professional Corporation

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