How Are Assets Divided In A Divorce?


When a married couple or adult nonmarital couple separates or gets a divorce, the distribution of assets is frequently the legal problem that is the most difficult to settle. Even establishing how to value certain assets can be a complicated process. But what happens if you and your spouse cannot decide how to divide the property? In Alberta, the Matrimonial Property Act (MPA) is used to split assets properly. The MPA only covers couples in Alberta who are lawfully married.

People who are in common-law relationships are not covered by it. So who gets to retain the house after a divorce or legal separation? Professional and experienced divorce lawyers in Edmonton offer a comprehensive range of services if you require further assistance. To learn more about the asset division, keep reading this blog post.

General Asset Division Regime

A couple who is married or is in an adult cohabiting relationship must follow the Family Property Act when dividing their assets following their breakup. In most cases, a couple will divide equally the value of whatever property they have accrued throughout their relationship. Likewise, they will share equal responsibility for any debt incurred while they were together.

Depending on what is seen to be fair under the given circumstances, some properties may be unequally distributed. The clearest illustration of this is when an asset possessed before the relationship appreciates throughout it. Depending on the causes of the rise, the length of the relationship, each party’s financial situation, and any other factors the court deems significant, this increase in value may be distributed equally or unequally.

Also Read: What Should You Know About A Separation Agreement?

When Couples Can’t Agree On How To Divide The Property

According to the Matrimonial Property Act, the court will make the ultimate decision for a couple if they are unable to agree on how to split the marital property or particular matrimonial assets. The distribution of marital property must go through a final procedure, such as a consent judgment, summary trial, or full trial.

The Court will review all the assets and obligations accumulated by each party throughout the marriage, whether in individual names, joint titles, or corporate names, before issuing the ruling. The distribution of the rise in the value of the Exempt Property is done in a way that the court deems to be “just and equitable,” even though all assets and debts gained during the marriage are to be divided equally.

Important Factors In A Property Division Dispute

The following considerations will be made by the judge when deciding how to divide the marital estate if the former partners are unable to reach an agreement:

  • How long has the marriage lasted?
  • Whether or not the property was bought while the couple was living separately.
  • Whether one spouse has misused possessions to harm the other.
  • How much did each partner contribute?
  • Are there any commercial interests?
  • How much money does each partner make?
  • How long had the couple been together?
  • Do the spouses have any further agreements?
  • Are one or both spouses the subject of court orders?
  • Does either spouse owe any debts or taxes?

What Is Considered A Matrimonial Asset?

All possessions obtained by either spouse during the marriage are considered to be matrimonial property. This includes a marital residence that was bought by either spouse, either collectively or separately. After a marriage dissolves, marital property is often split evenly between the partners.

As previously indicated, there is an additional property known as “exempt property” that is not divided equally upon the dissolution of a marriage. This covers any assets each spouse earned before the marriage as well as any assets a spouse dwells on or gets as a gift before separation or divorce.

When Can I File For A Matrimonial Property Order?

A Statement of Claim for a Matrimonial Property Order must be submitted within two years of the date the couple separated. Alternatively, the deadline to submit is one year from the day the property is transferred or given away (whichever occurs first). After the court issues a divorce decree, the case for a marital asset cannot be brought after two years have passed.

About The Divorce Company

Since The Divorce Company has been in business in Edmonton, we’ve assisted a lot of couples in coming to mutually beneficial divorce decisions without having to go to court. Our team has experience in a wide range of disciplines, including law, finance, and conflict resolution. Our mediators offer excellent counsel and assist couples in making decisions that are in the best interests of all parties.

Looking for professional divorce lawyers in Edmonton? Contact us now