Property Division Lawyers in Surrey, Vancouver & Abbotsford, BC

Division of Property in Family Law
Located in Surrey, Abbotsford & Vancouver, BC

One of the most complicated aspects of separation and divorce is the division of property such as the family home, furniture and household items, vehicles, and retirement plans and pensions. Hiring a family lawyer to iron out these matters is essential.

Family lawyers will explain which items automatically qualify during this process. According to British Columbia law, there are two categories: family property and excluded property.

What Is Family Property?

Anything you or your spouse acquired during your marriage or relationship (the moment you moved in together, up to your separation date) counts as family property. In the eyes of the law, an item can be categorized as family property even if it is in just one person’s name. Examples include:

  • The family home and other houses
  • RRSPs
  • Pensions
  • Land
  • Insurance Policies
  • Investments
  • Businesses
  • Bank Accounts

What Is Excluded Property?

If you or your spouse acquired any of the aforementioned items before your relationship, the law views them as excluded property. You don’t have to split these items if you separate.

However, there is an exception. If your property increased in value while you and your spouse lived together, the court would list that increase as family property. Therefore, you must split half of the increased value with your spouse.

What if you sold an excluded property and used the money to purchase a family property? Perhaps you owned a condo when you were single and sold it to buy the family home after getting married. A family lawyer can trace the portion of the value that went towards purchasing the family home. You are not required to share this amount.

How Does the Court Divide Family Property?

In British Columbia, the law states that all family property must be divided equally between spouses. However, if you drafted an agreement regarding the division of property, you may adhere to it. Your family lawyer can oversee and guide this process.

Conversely, the court can decide that there should be an unequal division of family property. This decision may occur if a 50/50 split is deemed significantly unfair to you or your spouse.

Family Lawyers in Surrey, Fraser Valley and Lower Mainland, BC

Division of property can be a complicated and stressful part of separation and divorce, but advice from a knowledgeable legal professional can ensure that this division happens fairly. At ALG Lawyers, our experienced family lawyers will guide you through the process and work to protect your property. Contact us today to schedule a consultation