Divorcing your spouse means that you will have to divide your property based on the laws that pertain to your case. Some property, such as the marital home, are always divided. Other property, such as certain inheritances, aren’t subject to the property division property.
In British Columbia, the property division process sets some specific property as separate property that doesn’t have to be divided. This includes money that is received or is payable through an insurance policy, a settlement or award that is compensation for an injury, inheritances to one spouse, a property that was owned before the relationship began and property that is in a discretionary trust for one spouse.
It is also possible that gifts would be considered separate property if those gifts were specifically given to one spouse. In many cases, how the property is handled once it is given to a spouse matters. If the property is held with marital property or if it is cared for by marital funds, it might be considered marital property during the property division process.
No matter how property is obtained or when it is obtained, the presence of a valid marriage contract means that the property would be divided how the contract notes it should be divided.
As you can imagine, the dividing property can be complex in some cases. If you and your spouse have considerable assets, this might be the case. It is crucial that you have a complete understanding of how different assets and liabilities should be handled in your case so that you can know what decisions you need to make.
Source: FindLaw Canada, “Gifts, inheritances and other excluded properties,” Miriam Yosowich, accessed Oct. 28, 2016
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