Q: In matrimonial cases, what is the first step to
calculating the equalization payment in Ontario? OG: In a divorce proceeding, the first step to
calculating the equalization payment is to complete a "Form
13.1 Financial Statement." The form has 2 parts: the first
part of the form itemizes your income and expenses. Disclosure must
include three years of personal income tax returns and notices of
The second part of the form calculates what is known as Net Family
Property, which essentially is the growth in a spouse's net
worth from the date of marriage to the date of separation. The
values of each asset and liability need to be disclosed at 3
1. marriage date,
2. separation date, and
3. current date.
Q: You mentioned Net Family Property. How is that
calculated? OG: Net Family Property is the growth in a
spouse's net worth from the date of marriage to the date of
separation. First, you list the values of all assets at the date of
separation. This includes bank accounts, RRSPs, TFSAs, home,
cottage, brokerage accounts, business interests, monies owed to the
spouse and so on.
Next, you deduct all liabilities at the date of separation.
These include loans, credit cards, mortgages, and money owed to
CRA. Also included are contingent liabilities. For example, you can
take into account the contingent income taxes that will ultimately
be paid on the withdrawal of RRSP funds on retirement.
The next step is to deduct the net worth at the date of
marriage. So this involves setting out the assets and liabilities
at the date of marriage.
Another deduction is allowed for Excluded Property, which
generally includes gifts and inheritances from a third person
during the marriage, damages and settlements from personal injuries
and life insurance proceeds. The total represents a spouse's
Net Family Property.
Q: How is an equalization payment
calculated? OG: In order to explain how an equalization
payment is calculated, let's walk through an example. Jim has
Net Family Property of $800,000. Meg has Net Family Property of
$200,000. The difference between the spouses is $600,000. In order
to equalize, the spouse with the larger Net Family Property must
pay an equalization payment of half the difference to the other
In this case, Jim, who has the higher Net Family Property, must
pay half of the $600,000 difference, or $300,000, to Meg. The final
result after the equalization payment of $300,000 will be that Jim
and Meg will each have $500,000 of Net Family Property.
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guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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