We are open in our 8 offices to serve your needs

Buying property is expensive. Nowadays, many first time buyers are assisted by the kind contribution of parents or in-laws. If someone in your family is generous enough to provide you with funds, make it clear whether these monies are a gift or a loan. It can make a difference down the line if the marriage comes to an end.

Parents will sometimes provide monies to children as a wedding gift, or to assist with the purchase of a home. Frequently, the funds are not characterized in any way, often there is no paperwork signed, and no effort is made to repay the money over the course of the marriage. When the parties separate, however, one spouse or the other may claim the monies were either a gift or a loan, depending on how the nature of the monies would impact the equalization payment and/or other property arrangements. For example, a husband might want to characterize the funds from their in-laws as a gift, such that there is no obligation to repay them. The wife, conversely, might want the money from her parents to be a loan, such that the debt has to be split between the parties and repaid.

If the parties disagree, a hearing will have to be held at separation to determine the nature of the monies. At the hearing, the court or arbitrator will consider the following factors:
a. Are there any documents contemporaneous with the provision of the funds?
b. Has the manner of repayment been particularized?
c. Is there security?
d. Were there similar advances made to other children?
e. Was there any demand for repayment before the parties separated?
f. Has any repayment on account of the monies been made?
g. Was there a likelihood or expectation of repayment?

The best approach is to avoid this thorny issue altogether by clarifying the nature of the funds up front. If the money is a gift, have everyone sign a deed of gift. If the money is a loan, a promissory note should be executed and payments made on the note throughout the marriage.

Contact Form - Contact Us Page

Request a free consultation

Please fill out this form with your contact information and someone will be in touch with you soon.

Contact Preferences

How would you like to be contacted? Click all that apply.

How can we help you?

Brief description of your legal issue:

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm is not secure and does not establish a lawyer-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.



4211 Yonge Street • Suite #210 • Toronto • Ontario • M2P 2A9

View Map | Learn More

Aurora **

16 Industrial Parkway South • Aurora • Ontario • L4G 0R4

View Map | Learn More


500 Mapleton Avenue, Suite A • Barrie, Ontario • L4N 9C2

View Map | Learn More

Downtown Toronto **

100 King Street West • Suite #5600 • Toronto • Ontario • M5X 1C9

View Map | Learn More


4257 Sherwoodtowne Blvd Suite #300 • Mississauga Ontario • L4Z 1Y5

View Map | Learn More

Scarborough **

10 Milner Business Court • 3rd Floor • Scarborough • Ontario • M1B 3M6

View Map | Learn More

Grimsby **

33 Main Street West, • Grimsby • Ontario • L3M 1R3

View Map | Learn More

Whitby **

105 Consumers Drive - Unit 2, • Whitby • Ontario • L1N 1C4

View Map | Learn More
** Satellite office that requires you to book an appointment with us prior to arriving at the office.
Federation of Asian Canadian Lawyers
Law Society of Ontario
Peel Law Association
UJA Federation of Greater Toronto
York Region Law Association
Collaborative Practice Simcoe County
Law Association Simcoe County
Widows & Orphans Fund