Separated unmarried couples with family businesses and property may base their property division claims on the principle of constructive trust because the Ontario Family Law Act is largely not available to them, says Toronto family lawyer Doug Beamish. “Although joint family ventures is something the courts are prepared to look at, you still have to form your claims based on constructive trust,” says Beamish, a partner with Basman Smith LLP. Typically, those who were in a non-marital relationship take with them what they brought to the partnership and what is in their name. But, when it comes time to separate, they have no legislated rules to rely on, says Beamish.
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