Division of Property
Whether married or cohabitating, a separation or divorce involves couples separating their commingled financial lives and separating their assets and debts.
In order to resolve matters in a legally enforceable manner, which is in the best interest of both parties, they must sign a binding contract (separation agreement), obtain an arbitration award or obtain a Court judgment.
If parties choose to proceed to a judicial decision (trial in Court or arbitration), the division of assets will be governed by the Family Law Act and caselaw. If parties are onboard with resolving matters amicably, they have the ability to think outside the box and reach an agreement that works for their family.
Once separated, married couples are entitled to an equalization of their net family property. This level of protection is afforded to married spouses pursuant to the Family Law Act. Essentially speaking, the right is not to the division of the property itself, but to the division of the value of the property. The equalization of net family property follows a specific calculation set out in the Family Law Act. The result of this process is that one spouse will owe the other a lump sum; the quantum of which depends on the situation at hand.
The division of property can be extremely complicated. Some issues include: valuation of real property (family home/matrimonial home), tax implications, exemptions, inheritance, gifts, pension division, stock options, business valuations, etc. Call us now for assistance.