Jul 19

Fair: In Love and Divorce

There continues to persist, a longstanding perception that upon separation or divorce, all family assets are divided 50/50.

I must admit, as a starting point, the above is true.

However, the Family Law Act allows for unequal division of property and also enshrines a separate, excluded property regime. I will delve into the world of excluded property, in a future blog.

Unequal division of property is just that – not 50/50. Courts have grappled with this concept since the Family Law Act came into force in 2013. Most residents of the Lower Mainland have mortgages. Notwithstanding the financial and emotional toll of separation and divorce, banks continue to require regular payments pertaining to mortgages even after spouses part ways.

Recent cases appear to clarify the all too common situation, where after separation, one spouse continues to reside in the former family residence – the other spouse resides elsewhere – and one of the parties continues to maintain the mortgage payments. Wouldn’t a 50/50 division of assets be unfair in this circumstance?

Depending on the facts of your case, it might be possible to make a claim for an unequal division of property if you have contributed to all or most of mortgage-related expenses after separation. The real estate markets in Langley, Surrey, and Maple Ridge, continue on a steady incline, and even a slight deviation from 50/50 apportionment could translate into big money.

Don’t be stuck with a mortgage and an unfair division of assets. Give us a call, book an appointment, and become informed of your rights, entitlements, and obligations!