When a marriage ends, spouses usually want to complete a final division of their assets and liabilities. The Matrimonial Property Act of Alberta sets out the law regarding the division of property which shall be applied if the parties apply to Court for a determination of the division of their property. The law found in the Matrimonial Property Act has been expanded and clarified through cases which have been decided in our Courts. Exactly how property is divided and in what proportions, depends upon the specific circumstances of the case. Each province also has a different set of laws that are applied.
The Matrimonial Property Act states that married spouses may conclude a final and legal binding division of their property any way they want, provided they put the terms of the division into a written agreement specifically identifying and valuing the assets and liabilities. Each party must consult a lawyer separately for a legal opinion regarding the agreement and they sign the agreement with their separate lawyers.
It is strongly advised that anyone contemplating a division of marital assets meet with a lawyer to learn their rights prior to discussing a division of assets and liabilities with their spouse. A legal opinion will arm a client with a knowledge of their rights, some general income tax advice and an explanation of the steps which are required to ensure to complete the division in a final, binding manner.
At Foster LLP, we are aware that dividing assets with the assistance of a lawyer is expensive. We will ensure that clients are given options which are suited to their budget.