Feeling guilty about causing the end of your marriage? One mistake too many or the one time you got caught? Even though your spouse has made it very clear that your marriage is now over, strongly resist handing over all the funds in your investment account or ramping up your line of credit as a gift to show remorse for your feelings of guilt. In Ontario if you are married, you will be required to account for the actual costs of your transgression. If you drank away the weekly pay cheque or gambled your annual bonus then you’ll need to answer to where the money disappeared. Credit card charges and bank account balances will be provided to your spouse’s lawyer. Property division of one half of the value of personal assets or family assets will be shared upon separation. Jumping ahead before this disclosing and accounting of each spouse’s net worth may cause financial ruin when it didn’t have to be that way. When dividing the net value of an asset, you keep one half and your spouse receives the other half. You may both agree that the account itself isn’t divided. For example, if you jointly own the matrimonial home and you both decide to sell the house outright, you will divide the net proceeds of sale equally. Instead of dividing the investment account in two, you can agree to provide that one half value from your share of the house net proceeds. In the end, your investment account is in tack and you’ll receive less cash from the house sale. You may be surprised that one half of the costs of your transgression going to your spouse in an orderly processing after an exchange of full financial disclosure may be less that the cash gift you rashly handed over just weeks earlier. The gift may have been of mindless resolve. Keeping a balanced approach together with sound legal advice may keep you in the black. At that point with clarity and mindfulness, your choice to gift away your financial resources may take a different path, if at all. To review your circumstances whether traumatic or uneventful in a family law context to receive sound advice, please contact Lorisa Stein through her website www.LorisaStein.com homepage or Contact page or by calling her at 416 595-8081, her direct line.