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Is my pension considered legal property during a divorce?

Pension Family Law

Is my pension considered legal property during a divorce?

To start, PENSIONS ARE CONSIDERED PROPERTY under the Ontario Family Law Act and is valued in accordance with the Pension Benefits Act.

Family Law in Ontario provides that each spouse is automatically entitled to a share of the spouse’s pension, as it is considered part of the family assets that are to be equalized upon separation or divorce.

How does a pension get split in a divorce?

There are detailed rules on how that post-split division is calculated. This is where it gets a little complicated.

Assuming one of the spouses is a member of an Ontario pension plan, those rules apply mainly to married spouses who separated on or after January 1, 2012, or who separated prior to that date but had not yet resolved their property issues by then.

These rules can also apply to unmarried spouses, but only by agreement.


1) The “Preliminary Value” of a pension is the total value that the pension-holder earned while he or she was a member of a pension plan, up until the marital separation date.

2) The “Family Law Value” (sometimes called the “Imputed Value”) is that pro-rated portion of the Preliminary Value that was earned during the period of the pension-holder’s marriage to the other spouse (and if the spouses agree, any period of cohabitation can also be included in this amount).

Once the Family Law Value has been calculated, it forms part of the calculation for determining the pension-holding spouse’s Net Family Property for equalization purposes

Different Approaches

The correct approach to valuing a pension will differ according to the type of pension.

Defined Contribution Pension – The Preliminary Value is calculated by taking the value at date of marriage and deducting it from the value at the date of separation.

Defined Benefit Pension – If the pension-holding spouse is not eligible for an unreduced pension on the separation date – the Preliminary Value of his or her pension is calculated through a complicated formula that incorporates various retirement dates.  There is a different formula applied if the pension-holding spouse is already eligible for an unreduced pension on the separation date.

Note! that the pension division is actually optional, but only in that the pension-holding spouse can buy out his or her spouse’s interest in it, using other assets.


Toronto sisters accused in Nigerian sexual extortion scandal try to clear their name



Jyoti and Kiran Matharoo sisters

Jyoti (right) and Kiran Matharoo (left), in a photo posted to Instagram in 2015.

They were nicknamed the “Canadian Kardashians” and garnered a large following on Instagram. Jyoti Matharoo currently has 49k followers and has posted several documents on their blog www.Matropolitan.com.

In an Instagram post Jyoti Matharoo claims there are 36 pages but they have posted only the ones pertaining to them. She stated the documents not posted include 8 pages of statements from Babatunde Oyebode, 3 pages of statements from Kiran Matharoo.


They were accused of attempting to extort a Nigerian Billionaire Femi Otedola. They were quickly arrested and briefly jailed. The sisters allegedly tried to blackmail Femi by claiming they had evidence of him cheating on his wife and they would post that evidence to a sex-scandal website NaijaGistLive.

On or about December 29, 2016 the sisters Jyoti and Kiran Matharoo posted a video on youtube apologizing and taking responsibility for a website called Naijagistlive. In the video they read a prepared statement off a cellphone.

In the video they stated that the money went to “Babatunde Oyebode of Huzzle Inc.” According to the Toronto Star, they received messages from a Twitter account under the name Babatunde Oyebode listed as a  CEO of Huzzle Inc and he stated to them that he had been charged and arrested by the Nigerian Police. It is perplexing why the sisters would not post Oyebode’s 8 page statement or the Kiran’s 3 page statement. Some online posters have inferred that they only posted what was beneficial to them to corroborate their story.

Return to Canada

The editor of an online newspaper that first broke the story of the charges, Dumebi Ifeanyi believes that the Canadian government may have intervened and helped Jyoti and Kiran Matharoo flee Nigeria.

Ifeanyi states “…the Canadian High Commission gave a document to the girls which would aid them to travel without their passports.”

A CityNews Investigation found they resurfaced online and appear to be back in Toronto.

A lawyer who helped the sisters told CTV News that they were issued replacement emergency passports by the Canadian Embassy.

Change of Story

In an exclusive with CTV news the Matharoo sisters changed their story even though in the apology video they said they would, “We promise not to say anything of the contrary to what we are saying now. We freely volunteer to make this video, and not under duress [be]cause we are aware of the damages[sic] done to people.”

Now they say they made the apology video to get their passports back but they were never returned. They told CTV News they made the apology video out of fear for their lives.

The Matharoo sisters left Nigeria on January 1 and have already missed several Court dates. The next date is scheduled for May 22. Canada and Nigeria do not have an extradition treaty.

Who should we believe?

What is the Superior Court of Justice?

Supreme Court of Canada

The Superior Court of Justice is one of the busiest trial courts in the world. The Court has jurisdiction over criminal, civil, and family cases, and is the largest superior trial court in Canada. The Divisional Court, the Small Claims Court, and the Family Court are all branches of the Superior Court of Justice.

The Superior Court sits in 52 locations across Ontario and its complement of over 300 federally appointed judges serves millions of people throughout the province. Every day, the judges and judicial officials of the Court work to provide Ontarians with effective, affordable, and timely justice; the dedication and integrity they bring to their courtrooms makes the Superior Court one of the most respected courts in Canada and worldwide.

The Chief Justice of the Superior Court is responsible for the sittings of the Court and assigning judicial duties, as well as other matters relating to the governance and administration of the Court. The Associate Chief Justice, eight Regional Senior Judges, and the Senior Judge of the Family Court form the Executive of the Court, which provides advice to the Chief Justice on policy and governance issues. Together, the Chief Justice and the members of the Executive work to ensure the proper administration of the Court.

In total, the Court serves eight judicial regions in Ontario. Each region is headed by a Regional Senior Judge who exercises the powers and performs the duties of the Chief Justice in that region. The business of the Court can vary from region to region depending on the particular requirements of each jurisdiction; however, the constant that binds the Court together is the commitment of its judges and judicial officials to meet the diverse needs of Ontarians.

As the social and legal landscape of the province continues to grow and change, the Superior Court of Justice remains steadfast in its goal to constantly improve the Court’s service to the public and provide justice to the people of Ontario.