Areas of Legal Practice
Property Claims and Division
Splitting up assets is hard enough. Let us deal with the legal stuff.
The thought of having to deal with family property, assets and debt at the end of a relationship can be overwhelming. The laws that govern property division are complex and differ depending on whether you are married or a common-law spouse. Married spouses are automatically entitled to property division—or an “equalization of net family properties” in legal terminology—while common law spouses are not and must instead rely on equitable principles when making a claim with respect to property.
When a claim for property division is made, both parties are obligated to provide full financial disclosure of the value of all assets, debts and liabilities existing at the date of marriage (or cohabitation if unmarried), the date of separation and at present. Determining the value of assets, debts and liabilities may be straightforward in some cases and less so in others where there are there are complex assets like pensions, different types of investments, or corporations. Valuing complex assets, debts or liabilities may require the involvement of a third party professional such as accountants, pension administrators or appraisers.
When determining your net family property for equalization purposes, you may be entitled to deductions or exclusions for some assets, which would benefit you in an equalization calculation.
We understand that navigating property division without legal representation can be challenging. If you are married and seeking a divorce or separation, we can help you determine your net family property and any deductions or exclusions for which you may be eligible. We can also assess the other party’s net family property to protect you against an unfair property division. If you are a common law spouse, we can advise you on whether you have a claim with respect to property and how to quantify your claim.