04 // Division of Family Property in British Columbia- Abbotsford Lawyer
Divorce is a difficult process, and the process of dividing family property is often daunting when you are dealing with all of the other elements that come with divorce. First, the parties must identify what constitutes as family property, and that can be a contentious process, especially if there's been any commingling of funds between excluded property and family assets. Then, valuation of the property is necessary to make sure there's an equal split of property.
The Family Law Act is the statute in British Columbia that governs the division of property and debt. To get through it, you need the guidance of a divorce lawyer who knows how to approach the division of family property and debts according to the Family Law Act SBC 2011 c. 25. At Clarity Family Law, our family law lawyer in British Columbia will review your case, outline your best options, and advocate for your rights and interests. Contact us online or at 604-210-2462 to schedule a free initial consultation.
What is Family Property in Abbotsford?
Generally speaking, family property is property obtained by either spouse, or both spouses together, during the course of the marriage. This property is to be distinguished from excluded property, which is a defined category under the Family Law Act that is separate from family property. Family property may include real property, stocks, and retirement accounts. Debt accumulated by one or both spouses during the marriage is considered family debt and is divided equally between the spouses after separation.
What Do Family Property and Excluded Property Mean in Abbotsford?
Each province has its own legislation that sets out the rules for dividing family property and debt. Most provinces have acts that divide family property and debt similar to the British Columbia Family Law Act. It is important to realize that any debt or property owned by one spouse during the relationship is shared equally between the parties by default. If one spouse wants to make an excluded property or debt claim, they must prove that using the Family Law Act. Even though a spouse may prove that property is excluded, if that excluded property has appreciated in value during the relationship, the increase in value is family property and divisible equally. For example, if one spouse owned a home before the start of the relationship and the home had appreciated in value by $200,000 at the date of separation, the other spouse will be entitled to $100,000 (1/2 of the increase in value).
Pensions are a special type of family property that can also be treated as income. The rules for dividing pensions are complex and spouses should get legal advice on this issue before reaching any agreements about pensions.
Excluded property categories are narrow, and include inheritances, gifts to one spouse, personal injury settlements, and property that belonged to one spouse prior to the date the parties began cohabiting. In some cases, a pre-nuptial or marriage agreement will set out a list of excluded property to be used if the spouses were to separate.
Common Challenges to the Division of Family Property
A common challenge to dividing property is the commingling of excluded property with family property. In some cases, the excluded property can be traced through the purchase and sale of subsequent properties, and the spouse can receive the excluded portion back. In other cases, spouses can lose their exclusion if they use the money to purchase jointly held property or to pay off the family debt.
Businesses are also often a source of contention in divorces when dividing property. Who bought the business and when, as well as who contributed funds and where the funds came from, are all matters to be considered when deciding if a business is family property. Spouses are entitled to a division of the value of shares or ownership interests in the family business of the other spouse, which often surprises the family who owns the business when a marriage dissolves.
Benefits of a Divorce Lawyer for the Division of Family Property in Abbotsford.
If you are going through a divorce, you need to know the property and debt held by you and your spouse whether separately or jointly. You also need to understand how the law applies to divide the property in your unique circumstances. A local lawyer experienced in family law will consult with you and advise you on what to expect during your divorce.
Contact a Division of Property and Debt Lawyer in Abbotsford Today.
Division of family property and debt is required when you get divorced. Understanding your legal entitlement to family property is crucial before you can reach an agreement or negotiate effectively with your spouse. Having someone who can clearly explain the law and your share of family property to you will help make the process go as smoothly as possible. Once you understand your rights, you can work towards resolution and agreement with your spouse.
At Clarity Family Law, we offer a division of family property and debt and excluded property analysis to our clients. After consulting with you about your matter, we will provide you with a flat fee quote to obtain the necessary information from you, apply the law to your property and debt, and clearly explain the results to you. You will therefore be able to work toward a fair division of property and debt with your spouse.
Contact us today either online or at 604-210-2462 to schedule a free initial consultation.