Family Law Division of Property
When dividing property during a divorce, the court will consider a variety of factors to determine what is fair and equitable. These property division factors can include the length of the marriage, the financial contributions of each spouse, the needs of the children, and more. The court will also look at the property itself and decide how to divide it based on its value. This can be a complex process, and it is important to have an experienced family law attorney on your side to protect your interests. If you are going through a divorce, contact us today to learn more about how we can help you.
Property Division for Married and Common-Law Couples
The rules are the same for married and common-law couples. As with family debt, the law in BC treats the division of family property the same for married couples as for common-law couples so long as the common-law couple has lived in a marriage-like relationship for at least two years.
For anything that a couple acquired while living together, the law says that such property is to be split equally, 50-50. Even if one party acquired it and has formal ownership, the other party is entitled to an equal share of it if it was acquired while the couple cohabited. There are also provisions for an un-equal division of family property to consider, too.
The law allows each party to keep property that he or she had prior to the relationship. However, both parties are entitled to an equal share in any increased value in such “excluded” property. This rule on increased value applies to such family property as a house, land, furniture, vehicles, pensions, bank accounts and businesses.
For example, the owner of a house acquired before the relation is entitled to keep the house after a separation. But if the home has increased in value by 20% over the life of the relationship, both spouses equally split the value of that 20% increase.
Although some exceptions exist to the 50-50 split rule such as gifts and inheritances directed at one spouse the same rule on splitting the increased value accrued over the life of the relationship applies.
Please note that the above is for informational purposes only and is not intended to provide you with legal advice.