While the basic process of divvying up the assets and debts is the same no matter how much the assets are worth, things do get more complicated when you start dealing with high-value assets. In some cases, you may not even be aware of all of the assets that qualify under the Family Law Act. This is one reason why it is so important to discuss your case with a lawyer in British Columbia who can help you understand how the property division process will take place and how to make sure there is full financial disclosure.
The first step is always for both parties to make a list of all of the assets. For most people, this includes bank accounts, real estate holdings and any automobiles. However, those going through a high-asset divorce may also need to consider things like investment accounts, antiques, and any businesses either party owns.
The next step is to discern the value of each of these assets. It’s important to understand that an asset is valued based on the date the couple separates or is no longer living together. This is important to keep the divorce proceedings moving along. If the property division had to be restarted every time a property value fluctuated with the real estate market, for instance, it would make coming to a settlement very difficult.
Once the total value of the couple’s property has been calculated, any debts are subtracted off this amount. The resulting figure is divided in two and this would be the amount each party would get. However, this still depends on several factors. Often, a settlement will include payments from one party to the other, called equalization payments, and a lawyer can provide more information on this.
Source: FindLaw, “Calculating family and equalization payments,” Casey Watson, accessed April 07, 2016
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