Walk a Kb or Two in my Moccasins- Nobody 'splained it to me like that!

Simple answers to Complex Questions and Complex Answers to Simple Questions. In real life, I'm a Greater-Toronto (Canada) Realtor with RE/MAX Hallmark Realty Ltd, Brokerage. I first joined RE/MAX in 1983 and was first Registered to Trade in Real Estate in Ontario in 1974. Formerly known as "Two-Finger Ramblings of a Forensic Acuitant turned Community Synthesizer"

Saturday, January 01, 2011

'Married' Property Rights - loophole - not serious, but interesting!

Weisleder: Religious marriage does not include property rights

Highlight/Summary --However, if you are married in Ontario in a religious ceremony only(ie w/o also having an Ont Civil License), you will have the same rights as a common-law couple, which means no rights to property.

A recent case has confirmed the principle that two people who choose to marry in a religious ceremony in Ontario, without obtaining a civil marriage licence, will acquire no property rights should they later separate.
Merv Burgard, Q.C., forwarded to me a decision released June 28, 2010, where a couple was married in 2004 in Toronto by a Muslim religious leader under Sharia law. The parties later separated and the issue was whether the woman was entitled to an interest in a condominium owned by the man she lived with, claiming it to be a matrimonial home. The parties never took out an Ontario marriage licence.

The woman claimed that the parties were married in 2005 by a judge in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, and thus she was legally married. Her partner claimed that they only attended in Abu Dhabi to register the Ontario marriage to please her family and that no new marriage was entered into.

The judge found that no marriage had taken place in Abu Dhabi. He also quoted the Marriage Act of Ontario which states that “no marriage may be solemnized except under the authority of a licence issued in accordance with the Act. Since the parties did not obtain a civil marriage licence in Ontario, the woman’s claim was denied.

As a precedent, the judge referred to a prior decision released in 1999 involving a Jewish couple who were married in 1987 in a religious ceremony, and who later married in a civil ceremony in 1994. Between these two dates, the husband acquired substantial assets. The spouses later separated and the wife wanted the assets to be equalized from the date of the original religious marriage in 1987. She tried to support her claim with evidence that her husband had told her that the only reason he did not want to marry in a civil marriage in 1987 was so that he could continue to receive widower’s benefits but that he would always treat her as his married spouse.

The judge did not accept this evidence and again, since the parties did not enter into a civil marriage until 1994, that was the date chosen for the equalization of assets.

It is interesting to note that if a couple is married in a country outside Canada in a religious ceremony that is recognized as a marriage in that country, and then they immigrate to Ontario, they will be recognized as married spouses under the Ontario Family Law Act and be entitled to an equalization of property. However, if you are married in Ontario in a religious ceremony only, you will have the same rights as a common-law couple, which means no rights to property.

This is a reminder that if you are planning to move in with someone and are contemplating buying real estate, you should get your name on title to the property. That is the way to protect your interests.

The moral of this story is that if you are thinking about a religious marriage in Ontario, make sure that it includes a trip to city hall to obtain a marriage licence.

Mark Weisleder is a lawyer, author, course developer and public speaker for the real estate industry. Visit him online at www.markweisleder.com.

What to buy??? Commodities Falter in Currencies as History Shows Dollar Wins

Opinions vary on "safe havens"(see below) .... do YOU feel you need a hedge against inflation due to purposeful, central bank currency devaluation.

Why care about currency devaluation? -- how else are gov't's and central banks going to get their "stimulus-created debt-loads" back in line with GDP ratios? (nevermind in line with Revenue?)
.... by raising tax levels?
....by selling sovereign assets?
... or by inflating away "problems" --it's the tried and true solution (sad but true).

My opinion .... buy something you know ..... not an exotic in a faraway place.

Buy something you control (not a piece of paper adminstered by someone else, acquired help from with credit/money they've borrowed to loan to you)

Buy something that 'pays a cash dividend' (generates income)

Buy something that provides a benefit to you .... shelter or capital appreciation or equity growth due to debt retirement.

Does it sound like I'm just a shill for real property investments?

Commodities Falter in Currencies as History Shows Dollar Wins

From Bloomberg
By Yi Tian and Debarati Roy

Dec. 20 (Bloomberg) -- Speculators betting the commodities rally will continue into a third year are being confronted by currency investors wagering the dollar will strengthen in 2011. If history is any guide, the foreign-exchange market will win.

Traders have almost tripled their net-long positions in 20 raw-material futures the past five months to the highest level in at least four years, driving a 26 percent gain in the Thomson Reuters/Jefferies CRB Index, government data show.

snip ...

The U.S. Dollar Index has risen 5.9 percent since Nov. 4 on signs the Federal Reserve’s quantitative easing policy was boosting the U.S. economy. The inverse relationship between the currency market and commodities has strengthened since 2005 and last month reached the highest level in a year. Open-interest data shows investors are stepping back from raw materials after gold and cotton climbed to records and oil and copper reached the highest levels since 2008.

“A lot of the big rise in commodities has not been about fundamentals, but was driven by hot money pouring in as people backed away from other assets,”

snip ...

Investor demand for commodities increased amid the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression and widening budget deficits in Europe and the U.S. because raw materials tend to maintain their value as confidence in financial assets ebbs.


‘Rather Dubious’

“I’m becoming concerned over the degree of speculation in the commodity” markets, said David Rosenberg, the chief economist at Gluskin Sheff & Associates, a wealth management firm in Toronto. “The outlook for a continuation of the bull market over the next six months appears to be rather dubious.”

Rosenberg predicted in December 2007 that the U.S. would enter a recession, a year before it was declared by the Cambridge, Massachusetts-based National Bureau of Economic Research. He said in late July that the rebound in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index “has run out of steam.” The benchmark gauge for American equities has gained 13 percent since July 30.

He’s now projecting the dollar will gain as much as 10 percent over the next six months as Europe’s debt crisis spreads from Greece and Ireland to Portugal and Spain. Bets by hedge funds and other large investors that the dollar will strengthen have climbed this month to the highest level since Sept. 10.

None of the currencies of countries whose economies are most tied to commodities are likely to strengthen next year, according to surveys of strategists and economists by Bloomberg News. Exchange-rates for Australia, South Africa, Brazil, Canada, New Zealand and Chile are all at least 10 percent overvalued based on the relative costs of goods and services, after rallying at least 17 percent, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development in Paris.

read the whole thing

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