30+ Years of Experience in Property Division
We Are Family Lawyers
Serving Calgary & Surrounding Areas
Breaking Down Property Division
Property division is an important issue to resolve when divorcing or separating. Married spouses or common law partners should endeavour to divide their property and assets – those accumulated during their relationship – equally. The Family Property Act sets out how the property will be divided if a relationship breaks down, including agreeing to a settlement or going to Court. At McLean Legal Family Lawyers, we can offer legal counsel and guidance to help you get everything you are entitled to.
Common Law Relationships
Common law partners are called Adult Interdependent Partners in Alberta and, since January 2020, have the same property division rights and protection as married spouses. Property and assets accumulated during the relationship will have to be divided equally, with partners being allowed to submit a claim within two years from the date the relationship ended.
Types of Assets Considered in Property Division
There are multiple properties and assets that can be divided equally between spouses or partners. It includes real estate (less mortgages or lines of credit), investments and bank accounts, furniture, vehicles, RRSPs and pensions. We can help value each property and asset before helping you decide how to divide your property and assets.
If spouses or partners cannot agree to an equitable division of property, the Court will decide for them. Multiple factors will impact this division, including whether the property was brought into the relationship, contributions (financial or otherwise by the parties), prior agreements or Court orders, and gifts or inheritances obtained during the relationship. Debts – who created them and who benefited from them – will also be considered.
Dividing Property & Debts in Alberta
Do you want to help to create your own future? If you do, spouses and partners can draw up a contract, such as a Separation Agreement or a Divorce & Property Contract, with a lawyer’s assistance & endorsement. Mediation and arbitration can be helpful to get parties a resolution. If spouses or partners cannot agree to a division, they are left with going to Court, where a Judge, who doesn’t know you or your family, will Order a distribution you may not be happy with. McLean Legal can help get an equitable share of property and assets.
If you have to have been in a relationship, living continuously with the person over three years, or in a relationship of interdependence, you are an adult interdependent partner. You can also become one if you both have a child by birth or adoption. If you meet the criteria of being in an Adult Interdependent relationship, you can divide property, assets and debts.
Exempt property is anything that is acquired prior to the marriage and relationship, inherited assets and properties during the relationship, gifts from third parties, and generally non-income insurance proceeds. However, there are a few exemptions to these rules, which our lawyers can discuss with you.