Property division is one of the most central issues in most divorces. It will take up the bulk of many settlement negotiations and can be more complex than most couples can possibly believe. This is especially true for high net worth couples, or for entrepreneur couples who must consider how to divide a business.
It’s important to remain realistic when thinking through the property division process. It is unlikely you will “take everything” and “leave your spouse with nothing.” Each spouse is entitled to a portion of the property accumulated within the marriage.
Are assets split 50/50 in BC?
To understand how assets are generally divided you must understand the difference between marital and non-marital property.
Marital property is property that’s accumulated from the start date to the end date of the marriage. Non-marital property is property that one spouse owned prior to the marriage, or property that was designated for the spouse alone and which was not comingled with the marital assets in any way.
If you were married for a very short period of time you aren’t going to take everything you own right now and divide it 50/50. We would only be looking at the marital property, which would mean whatever small portion of the assets was accumulated during your marriage. Both parties would have some stake in that property.
If you’ve been married longer then yes, you might well be dividing everything you own as close to 50/50 as possible, or nearly everything. This can get complex if the property isn’t exactly liquid, such as a business or piece of property. You and your lawyer will have to work together to find solutions.
Is a spouse entitled to inheritance money in BC?
Usually inheritance money is considered to be non-marital property even if you received your inheritance while you were married.
There are exceptions.
If you invest the inheritance and it increases in value then the difference between the original balance and the new balance is marital property. If you use the inheritance to upgrade or purchase marital property, like the family home, then the home is still marital property, regardless of how you got the funds to purchase it in the first place.
Does adultery affect divorce settlements in BC?
No. Adultery does not in any way impact the division of marital property. Getting divorced is like dissolving a business. The reasons why the marriage is falling apart matter far less than the fact that it is.
Put aside any notions of “punishing” your spouse for the affair. It’s not going to happen, and if you get stuck there you’ll waste a lot of time and money trying to move in that direction.
Why Merchant Law?
When you reach out to a Merchant Law lawyer you’ll get help from a lawyer with 30+ years of experience helping people just like you. We can help come up with creative legal solutions that work for your family. In many cases, our team of savvy negotiators can help you save money and stay out of court.
Call (604) 609-7777 to consult with one of our Surrey property division lawyers today.