Who Gets What During a Divorce

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Matrimonial property includes all property acquired by either spouse during the course of the marriage. This includes a matrimonial home purchased by either spouse, either as a couple or individually. Matrimonial property is generally divided equally between the spouses after the marriage ends.

When couples choose to divorce, one of the most daunting issues is that of distribution of property. In the province of Alberta, The Matrimonial Property Act creates is the standard when it comes to dividing property in the case of divorce. It directs that property accumulated during the course of the marriage is to be divided equally between the parties except in rare and exceptional circumstances.   The Act directs the division of the value of property as opposed to the property itself. In general, the value of property is determined at the date of trial or settlement, not at the date of separation and is based on fair market value.   Liabilities incurred during the marriage are generally also shareable equally. Liabilities incurred post-separation may not be.

What does ‘matrimonial property’ include?

  • Vehicles
  • Bank accounts
  • The family home, real estate, personal property
  • Art and jewelry
  • RRSPs and Pensions*
  • Insurance Policies
  • And so much more

For higher ticket items like art and jewellery an appraiser may be needed if the divorcing parties cannot agree on the value. Evaluations can also be done by real estate professionals, car dealerships, and online sale sites like Kijiji/Ebay. At Hayes Fry Law we have a long list
of experienced professionals to assist with valuations and appraisals.

At Hayes Fry Law we encourage parties to try to reach a reasonable arrangement themselves as to the distribution of such items. In the case where that is not possible, enlisting the help of our mediators or litigation lawyers is easy to do.

Hayes Fry Law covers a diverse range of Family Law services, including, common-law separation, contracts, mediation, negotiation, litigation, spousal support, child support, arrears, adoptions, prenuptial and cohabitation agreements and more. Because we respect you, we treat your case with the compassion and dignity you deserve. Tell us about yourself and your situation, and we’ll let you know how we can help.

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