Protect Yourself If You Are Not A Registered Owner Of Your Home
The home that you occupy as a family, often called the matrimonial home, holds special status as between spouses in Ontario. Both spouses have rights in relation to the matrimonial home, including equal right to possession, disposition and/or encumbrance of the matrimonial home, even if both spouses are not legal owners of the home.
In order to exercise rights in relation to a matrimonial home, often court intervention is necessary; however, you can protect yourself in relation to a matrimonial home in some respects without having to go to court by registering a matrimonial home designation on title.
One of the problems people often face when they are not legal owners of the matrimonial home is that the home is encumbered or disposed of without their knowledge or consent. This is concerning for many reasons, especially since the matrimonial home is often the family asset with the most significant value. A matrimonial home designation can be obtained even if you have not separated from your spouse. It provides formal notice that there is a spouse whose consent is required for any dealings with the home such as selling, transferring or otherwise disposing of it as well as mortgaging, refinancing or otherwise encumbering it. This will ensure that the equity in the home is preserved and provides peace of mind that is invaluable at minimal cost.