Property Division in a Divorce in Canada
Now that the relationship is over…. who gets what?
There is much to consider during a divorce, but one of the most basic questions is “Who gets what?” For some couples the division of property can get very messy, while others are able to deal with it quickly and easily.
Under Canada’s Constitution, each province and territory is responsible for laws regarding the division and/or equalization of family or marital property, and these laws can vary from one province or territory to another. That said, to help give you a very basic understanding on this topic, below is a general overview of most provincial statutes regarding the division of property during divorce.
Divorce in Canada: General Overview on Property Division
In the eyes of the law a marriage is an equal partnership. So, whether a spouse is responsible for running the household or earning family income, their contribution to the relationship is equally important. When a marriage ends, the partnership is over and property has to be divided. The general rule for this division is:
“The value of any property that you acquired during your marriage and that you still have when you separate, must be divided equally between spouses. Property that was brought into your marriage is yours to keep, but any increases in the value of this property during the duration of marriage must be shared.”
This theory is applied to most family assets with the exception of some, and one of the most important exceptions being your matrimonial home.
The Matrimonial home is the place where you and your spouse reside at the time of separation/divorce. Unlike other property, if you owned the matrimonial home on the date of marriage, you do not receive any credit for it when you separate. Also, it doesn’t matter who has their name on the papers for the house, both spouses have an equal right to remain in the matrimonial home.
As noted above, this is just a very general overview and laws will vary from one province/territory to another. To get more specific information on laws for your specific area you can visit your provincial government website, or retain a family lawyer.
Provincial Government websites:
- British Columbia
- New Brunswick
- Newfoundland and Labrador
- Northwest Territories
- Nova Scotia
- Prince Edward Island
The division of property in a divorce can be quite complicated and the more assets a couple has the more complex the laws can seem. Due to the complex nature of divorce and property laws, we always recommend that couples seek legal advice from a lawyer in their area who specializes in family law. This is the best way to ensure that you are fully educated, and that your rights and property are protected.
Latest Anonymous Questions
Posted in Location, Ontario, Separation, Vaughan by Questions on July 28, 2015
Can my husband force me to leave our home? It was bought Jointly and I am afraid if I tell him I want a separation or Divorce he will make me leave our house.
Posted in British Columbia, Divorce, Location, Vancouver by Questions on July 23, 2015
My spouse and I have been living in separate residences for 4 years, prior to this I was living apart for a long time period in the basement in our joint home. We finally got the house sold and split the proceeds. prior to the sale of the house I was paying all expenses. Now […]
My daughter is turning 18 in November 2015 and she and my ex wife are moving to Toronto August 2015 to live with her boyfriend of 6 years. My daughter will be living with them at least the 1st school year. Our divorce agreement was signed here in Quebec. Can I give the child support […]