Q: I am going through a separation. I married him in 2009 and sponsored him (he was on a student visa). We bought a condo and he got his permanent resident card in 2011. He changed after that – became quiet and refused to get a regular job, even though he was done with his studies (an MBA). He did odd jobs paying for minimal money. We had our son in 2012 and he threatened to kidnap him, so we split almost immediately thereafter. My question is this: I bought the condo in joint name but made the down payment using my RRSPs. Obviously he gets half of the equity, but he has never contributed anything towards the mortgage and left me (and his son) while I was on EI earning less than half my regular income. From the $17K used from my RRSP for the home purchase, $6K was savings from before the marriage. Since I have to repay it back under HBP, shouldn’t I be allowed to deduct at least that $6K from the equity division? I think it would be unfair otherwise, as I would have to borrow money and pay him that - and still have to repay my own RRSP in 2 years’ time. To be noted, he wasn’t staying home to take care of children (he left 3 days after my son was born). Our marriage lasted only 2 years and 5 months and out of which, I had to run everything for the first 2 years and then even after getting his immigration papers he didn’t help. I also found out after our separation that when he married me he had lied; he was on an expired student visa (not active) and he never finished his BComm and got into an MBA university fraudulently! Please advise; I need all the help I can get.
Asked by W., Pickering, ON
Please stop and take a deep breath.
You’ve been through so much that my heart aches for you. It sounds to me like you are anxious to divorce and move on and I don’t blame you, but don’t be in such a hurry that you neglect yourself and your child. With regard to your specific questions, the asset value in your home is the current market value less any debt, including what you owe to your RRSP homebuyers plan. In addition, while in Ontario the family home is generally split between spouses, there can be relief in the case of a short-term marriage (less than 5 years).
Whatever assets you brought into the marriage (such as your RRSP) remain yours. Division of assets is restricted to growth of those assets during the marriage. If he is now earning income, you may be entitled to support for your child and possibly spousal support.
I do not have any knowledge of immigration issues and fraud.
You really need legal advice as soon as possible. If you cannot afford a lawyer, I’ve referenced before the Ontario Government Family Law Information Centers. This may be a good place for you to start but you will probably need further resources
Good luck to you.
The intent of this article is general information with regard to the financial aspects of divorce and should not in any way be relied upon as legal advice. Anna-Marie Lyons is a Financial Planner and not a Divorce Lawyer.