My wife and I we are looking at separation. Under Quebec law how can I keep 100% of my business? Do I have to

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Customer: My wife and I we are looking at separation. Under Quebec law how can I keep 100% of my business? Do I have to automatically give her 50% or there are ways to negotiate an agreement were I can keep being the sole shareholder?
JA: Have you talked to a Quebec lawyer about this?
Customer: not yet
JA: What steps have you taken so far?
Customer: none
JA: Anything else you want the Lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: in a nutshell...my wife and I want to separate but looking at sharing the same house and business until things get economically better. We both agree that an immediate divorce will be catastrophic for our present economy. Therefore, I want to work on a road-map that will put in perspective intentions and steps moving forward for final, hopefully, amicable conclusion.
Answered by Counsel Creed in 1 day 2 years ago
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Counsel Creed
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Counsel Creed, Expert

Hi, welcome to Just Answer and thank you for using our services. I am Counsel Creed and family law is my specialty. It sounds like you have two questions posed: one of a general nature and one specific question. Let me first answer the one of a more general nature. I agree that the best way for two civilized and reasonable people is to negotiate a "road map" towards resolving all the issues that naturally arise from a breakdown of their relationship. If you have children together there are very many issues that you need to discuss to protect the best interest of the kids. But even if you do not have children, there is the issue of the possession of the matrimonial home, equalization of family assets, payment of separate and joint debts, etc.

As far as your specific questions is concerned: if your wife already has 50% shares of the corporation, there will be no division - she keeps her shares, you keep yours. Now, your shareholder agreement would have provided for the option of one of the shareholder buying out the other in the circumstances like these - the so called "shotgun" clause.

If you are the only shareholder of this corporation and you and your wife do not have a prior marriage contract then your business is considered part of the "partnership of acquests", that is divisible matrimonial property. The default position of Divorce Act is that this business, being property acquired during the marriage is split 50/50, but each spouse is allowed to make an argument that he or she has contributed to the acquisition, aggrandizement and betterment of the business to a degree higher than the other spouse. If that contribution is proven, you can split the value in other ratios, say 60/40, 70/30 etc. You can stay the sole owner of the business, but you will have to pay your wife this percentage from some other source - say from the pension, or RRSP, by lending money to pay her, or accepting a lesser amount from the net value of the matrimonial home.

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Counsel Creed, Expert

Hi, again. Do you have more questions for me?

Customer
No, thank you. You've been great!
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Counsel Creed, Expert

No worries. Feel free to ask addition questions should you have any. Have a great day and stay safe!

Customer
55357;�
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Counsel Creed, Expert

thanks

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