Division of property: What will happen to the family home?
Like other provinces and territories, British Columbia has a matrimonial and family law act that governor provides guidelines for — the way assets and debts are divided in a divorce. While many couples have complicated estates that include stocks or bonds, family businesses, real estate and more, deciding what to do about a matrimonial home is often the most difficult part of the division of property. It could be an equally challenging process in a divorce of a couple with average assets.
In British Columbia, a couple must have been in a marriage recognized as valid under the law to require the division of the marital home. In most cases, a common-law relationship does not give one party the right to claim a share of a home in the other party’s name. In the eyes of the law, a home in which the couple lived together during their marriage must be subject to equal distribution in divorce because marriage is considered an equal partnership.
While certain rules exist for other assets that will only be divided if acquired during the union, special rules are in place for the marital home which may require the assistance of a real estate lawyer. Assets that belonged to one spouse before the marriage will remain that person’s property, except the family home will be divided even if it belonged to one spouse before the wedding. If one spouse wants to keep the residence in which the couple lived, he or she can buy the other spouse’s share or give up equivalent assets; otherwise, it can be sold and the money shared equally.
Regardless of the wealth of a divorcing couple in British Columbia, if there is a marital home that will be part of the division of property, it could complicate matters. However, under the guidance and support of experienced Laughlin Law Lawyers, the various options available can be evaluated. Understandably, decisions that could post-divorce financial stability must be made with care.
Source: FindLaw Canada, “What happens to a matrimonial home after a separation?“, Miriam Yosowich, Accessed on March 27, 2017
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