Dividing family property and family debt is an important first step after the breakdown of a relationship. As family property and debt division law in Vancouver is currently uncertain and changing, it is crucial that you obtain legal advice from an experienced and knowledgeable family lawyer so that you are well informed about your rights and obligations. If you consult with me about your family property and debt division issues, I will ensure that your family property settlement secures your future.
What do you need to know about family property & debt division?
- Family property & debt division in Vancouver is governed by the Family Law Act.
- Family property is all property acquired during the “spousal relationship” which is the time period from the earlier of the date of marriage or the date of cohabitation up until the date of separation. Family property includes:
- The family home
- Vacation homes and rental property
- RRSPs & TFSAs
- Bank accounts
- Insurance policies
- An interest in a business or partnership
- Artwork, furniture & other valuable items
- The family pet
- Family debt is any debt incurred by a spouse after the relationship began but before separation, or after separation for the purpose of maintaining family property.
- Family property and family debt will be divided equally upon separation with a few exceptions as detailed below.
- Excluded property will not be included in the equal sharing of family property upon separation.
- There are eight general types of excluded property listed in the Family Law Act, but the most common types are gifts from a third party, inheritances and property owned by a spouse prior to the beginning of the spousal relationship.
- Excluded property may be lost if a spouse transfers it into property held in the name of the other spouse or into property held in the spouses’ joint names.
- The increase in value of excluded property during the spousal relationship is family property.
- Family property or family debt may be unequally divided if it would be significantly unfair to divide equally – this is a fairly high threshold to reach and will depend on the specific facts of each case.
- There are various other considerations and possible exceptions to the general rules – this is why it is very important to obtain legal advice if you own property.
- The law in this area is currently rapidly changing, so it is prudent to speak to a lawyer about how family property and debt will likely be divided in your case.
Family property & family debt division guidance
I am a knowledgeable and practical lawyer whom you can trust. My goal is to determine the solution that is best for you and your family. I will advise you on your family property and family debt rights and obligations and equip you with the information you need to make informed decisions. I am accessible, which means I am available to answer your questions and respond promptly to your emails and phone calls.