Property Division

Remember when you were moving out of your parents’ house to be with your significant other in your first ever joint residence? Saying goodbye, there were tears of course, but wasn’t there also a sly degree of happiness? You got to make you own rules, for the first time ever…subject to your significant other.

Now you are facing a crumbling relationship, and are panicking about the various assets you share with your significant other.


Whatever the case is, upon a dissolution of a relationship, it is important to PROTECT THE INTERESTS of the party that stands to lose.

Whether it’s that beautiful Truman build home in Castleridge, or that Lamborghini Aventador gently purring in the garage, it’s all the same to us. 

Let relieve you from bearing this burden and ensure that you receive an adequate property division upon dissolution of marriage or common law relationship. 

Each province has their own legislation in how to handle property division. In Alberta, the Matrimonial Property Act classifies the property and provides a means for its distribution. There was no legislation to deal with the property division of unmarried couples until recently. On January 1, 2020, the Matrimonial Property Act was renamed the Family Law Act and now applies to unmarried couples in adult interdependent relationships.

Parties can create their own Co-habitation and Separation Agreements to govern property division, otherwise the legislation applies to property attained after the relationship of interdependence commences. 

Property is classified under section 7 of the Family Law Act 

Section 7(2) deals with exempt property obtained by either party before the marriage received by a means of gift, third party, inheritance, insurance funds or other means. 

Section 7(3) deals with property forming part of the relationship and subject to division. It includes any increase in value of exempt property during the relationship, property acquired with income received from exempt property, property acquired by gift from one partner to another, and property acquired after termination. There is no presumption of equality with respect to distribution of this class of property, however the Court would distribute the property in a just and equitable manner, having consideration of section 8 factors.

Section 7(4) covers property not covered by the other two divisions and the presumption is that such property is distributed equally between the spouses. 

Section 8 factors consider each parties contribution during the span of the relationship, parties’ income levels, duration of the relationship, any agreement between the parties, tax liability held and so forth. 

The valuation date for property in Alberta is usually the date of trial. 

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