British Columbia has certain default provisions in place to help establish how marital assets can be fairly distributed between each spouse in a divorce. For spouses who do not wish to resort to these default rules, a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement may be put in place. In the absence of such an agreement, marital property and debt must be divided according to established rules.
One general rule is that nearly every type of asset is subject to division, including the increased value of assets that were owned before a spouse was married. There are a few exceptions, however, such as inheritances or gifts that were received from a party other than the other spouse. While courts are bound to adhere to default rules in many situations, spouses may be able to reach an alternative agreement that works best for them through the process of mediation or private negotiation. In addition to dividing specific assets, spouses may also consider whether spousal support should be included in their agreement in order to help compensate for the non-financial contributions of one of the spouses.
One of the most important components of the divorce process is evaluating assets that must be divided so that each spouse winds up with about the same value of assets as the other. Certain assets may be more difficult to evaluate, such as businesses. Our firm focuses on other practice areas, such as commercial law and estate planning, so we are able to consider how different financial arrangements may affect clients’ lives in the future.
Dividing property can be a complex process that may require the testimony of experts regarding the value of certain assets. If you would like more information on the legal rules regarding the division of property, please read our page on this topic.
Source: Laughlin & Company, “Division Of Property“, September 04, 2014
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