M writes: My soon to be Ex and I are in the process of selling our house and finalizing our divorce. My concern is that when the house is actually sold, those funds may fall into the hands of my spouse and will be spent or hidden before they are split!
Expert Answer by Stephen Altwerger, Real Estate & Corporate Law
In the Province of Ontario, the consent of both spouses is required on the transfer document before the sale can be completed and transfer registered. Both owners must sign (if they are both registered on title) or the spouse that is not registered on title must sign as consenting spouse to the transfer of the property.
Ordinarily in matters of separation or divorce there are separate lawyers acting for each party and it is usually a condition that the lawyer acting on the sale hold all the monies, after payment of all liabilities associated with the sale, in their trust account until the issues between the parties have been resolved. Upon instruction of both parties, the funds are released in accordance with the signed directions.
Gail Vaz-Oxlade: Canadian best-selling financial author, host of TV’s ’till Debt Do Us Part, Princess and Money Moron and co-founder of the Common Sense Divorce.
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