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Thursday, June 13, 2013

Family Property Division

Family Property Division

By Kimberly D.A. Soul

When a couple, married or common law, decides to separate, the division of family property is always a pressing issue. At Bennet Waugh Corne we strive to ensure that our clients are well educated in the areas affecting their matter. Over the next several weeks we will post a brief overview of  different  property  issues and how it is to be dealt with upon separation pursuant to the relevant legislation. 

The Family Property Act applies to residents of Manitoba. If one of the parties does not live in Manitoba the Family Property Act will apply if Manitoba was the last place of residence of the parties. Family Property subject to the Family Property Act  is property that has been acquired during a relationship or in contemplation thereof. Generally, the value of all property held by either party on the date of separation is equally shareable with the other party. Property includes things such as vehicles, investments, jewelry, real estate, RRSP’s, pensions, bank accounts, household contents. Etc.

Jointly held assets and debts are not dealt with in the same way as assets and debts held in each parties own name. Jointly held assets and debts are subject to The Law of Property Act of Manitoba for real property. They do not get added into the Family Property Act accounting. Jointly held assets and debts are already owned and owed equally between the parties.

The date of separation is important as all assets and debts, except joint, are valued as of the date of separation. Oftentimes parties disagree as to the date of separation. It is important to meet with a lawyer to canvass the law in this area.

Unless otherwise specified the explanations provided apply to married couples as well as common law couples who have either been living together for 3 years (and permanently separated after June 30, 2004) or have registered their relationship with The Vital Statistics Agency.  Note that common law couples must make an application for an accounting and equalization of assets within 3 years of the date of separation. There is no such timeline for married persons unless a divorce has been granted by the Court wherein the parties have 60 days to apply for an accounting and equalization of property if same has not yet been dealt with.

 

Posted by Alison Bennet at 12:00 AM 0 Comments

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