Property and Debt Division
Matrimonial Property Division in Alberta
The family law lawyers at Kahane Law Office (Calgary, Alberta) can help you understand your rights and obligations regarding matrimonial property division. Before making decisions, it is important to at least understand what the law is. Matrimonial property division (splitting up your assets – or things) applies to both married and common law relationships. Call 403-225-8810 today for help.
What is Property Division When a Relationship Breaks Down?
The breakdown of a relationship has financial and material consequences. This is true whether you are married or common law or in a traditional or same-sex relationship. Just as you build a life with your partner, the breakdown of your relationship requires the deconstruction of what you have built. This includes property division of those assets you acquired together. Property division in divorce or separation also includes splitting up any debt acquired during the relationship.
The Different Methods of Property Division
When couples separate, the property they acquired together must be divided. The method of dividing property differs depending on the type of relationship. Different division rules exist for marriage breakdown compared to common law separation. Married couples have an automatic entitlement to an equal share of the acquired assets. This entitlement comes from the legislative provisions which govern the division of matrimonial property. Common law couples are also entitled to make a claim on property acquired during the relationship. But their entitlement to property division is not automatic. In both cases you need to understand matrimonial property exemptions. You may also want to watch our video on exemptions to matrimonial property division. It is important to get proper legal advice so that you understand you rights.
Matrimonial Property Division Can Be Complicated
While the division of matrimonial property is an automatic entitlement and property division for common law couples allows a claim to be made it is not always that black and white. Determining what the divisible matrimonial property is can be a much more complicated process. Specifically, what property falls under that heading and what matrimonial property is exempted. This is because different legal categories of matrimonial property exist. Family law lawyers must first divide the matrimonial property
into categories. They then apply the law to each category to determine whether the property is divisible, and how. Certain property is exempt from division. For example, the value of any property one spouse owned at the start of the relationship is exempt. People find our Top 10 Things To know About Common Law Property Division helpful.
A further complication is the emotion that goes with separation and divorce. There are some assets that this applies to more than other. Fore instance, “who gets the matrimonial home?” is a very frequent question that we get. For non-married common law couples, the home they lived in is the primary residence. If one person (and their children) needs their home, we can help get an exclusive possession order for that person to have a safe place to live.
One Way to Avoid Fights Over Property Division
One factor involved in dividing matrimonial property is that neither party can have it all. People forget that if you split your assets, no matter what that split looks like, neither person can have everything as it was before. When emotion is further involved, people can create more stress, costs and problems for themselves. Setting up a Cohabitation Agreement when you first plan to move in together can be an effective tool in avoiding problems later.
Property Division at Kahane Law Office
The family law team at Kahane Law Office understands the legislation governing matrimonial property division (and property division of common law separations). Under Alberta family law, this is the Matrimonial Property Act. Our team has the experience necessary to help guide spouses through the property division process. We can help you determine what assets exist. We can advise you whether the assets form part of the matrimonial property. And we can show you how they should be divided between you and your spouse. We also understand that it can be a very emotional time for you and we try to support you through that to help make good choices.
Consulting an experienced lawyer when your relationship has broken down will help you understand the process and what to expect. Whether you are married or common law, traditional or same-sex, we can assist with your property division needs. Let us help you understand your rights, and help you work toward a solution if your relationship has broken down.
Getting the Help You Need to Navigate Separating Your Property
To schedule a consultation with a member of our family law team to discuss your common law relationship, entitlements, and any obligations, please contact our experienced team at Kahane Law Office. You can reach us locally in Calgary at 403-225-8810 (toll-free at 1-877-225-8817), or email us directly here.