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What is Considered Marital Property in Ontario?

Man shares property between an ex-husband and wife with a child after a divorce. Division of marital property real estate. Dispute. Conflict resolution. Legal regulation. Divorcement

Thinking about getting a divorce, but unsure of what is legally included as marital property?

Learn what happens to your property when you divorce or separate, what you might owe or be owed, and how to get support.

How Property is Divided When a Marriage Ends

In Ontario, property acquired during a marriage must be split equally when a marriage ends for any reason. This can include your:

  • Home
  • Car
  • Business
  • Furniture
  • Pension
  • Money

Keep in mind, it is the value of the asset that is divided, not the asset itself.  Meaning, if you own a $60,000 sportscar, your spouse is entitled to $30,000 and not half of your car.

Exclusions When it Comes to Marital Property

There are some exceptions that allow one spouse to keep the full value of property they own. 

This is called excluded property. The most significant property that is excluded from the net family calculation is property received by way of gift or inheritance. 

The gift or inheritance, aside from the matrimonial home, must be from a third party after the date of marriage and gifted to one spouse to the exclusion of the other. 

Depending on what assets are included in the relationship you might be entitled to more marital property. It is best to speak with a lawyer and lay out all your marital assets so they can help determine what you are legally entitled to.

Is a Business Considered Marital Property?

Under Canadian Family Law, the value of a business acquired during the marriage term, which still exists at separation, must be shared as between spouses. 

If you owned a business before marriage, you retain sole ownership of the business. However, any increase in the value of the business during the marriage must be equally shared with your partner. 

If your business was a gift, or an inheritance received during the marriage, it would not be included in the division of assets, unless it is intermingled with other marital assets.

Additional Ways to Divide Marital Property

If you both are in agreement, you and your spouse can divide your property any way you want in a separation agreement.

Before signing, it’s very important to get a lawyer to look it over as you cannot easily change or update your separation agreement after it is signed.


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This blog is made available by the law firm publisher, Epstein & Associates, for educational purposes. It provides general information and a general understanding of the law but does not provide specific legal advice. Any specific questions about your legal concerns please contact us now and speak to an expert today.