Pax Law Asset and Debt Division Lawyers know that dividing your marital property often means parting with half of your assets, some with vivid memories and emotions attached.

Asset and Debt Division in BC

Asset and Debt Division in BC means that under the BC Family Law Act, your family assets & debt is usually split equally (50/50) between you and your spouse unless you can prove significant unfairness of this arrangement to the court. Family property is often take in to consideration what accumulates duringthe cohabitation and marriage, and not what accumulates before or after cohabitation or marriage.

Family Property includes the following:

  • The family home;
  • RRSPs;
  • Investments;
  • Bank accounts;
  • Insurance policies;
  • Pensions;
  • An interest in a business;
  • The amount of any increase in the value of excluded property since the relationship started.

Family Property excludes the following:

  • Property you personally brought into your relationship;
  • Inheritances you received during your relationship;
  • Gifts you received during your relationship by someone other than your spouse;
  • Personal injury or settlement awards received during your relationship such as ICBC settlements, etc;
  • Property held for you in a discretionary trust held by someone other than your spouse;

Business Division

Business division at divorce or dividing business assets is a complex area of BC Family Law. Let’s look at an example: So you were a married unit during your marriage and allowed your partner to establish a business. Now the business is thriving but your marriage is not. You want half of the value of your partner’s business after separation but do not know how to start.  Pax Law Asset and Debt Division Lawyers explain what you should consider below:

  • Do You Want Half of the Shares or Half of the Value of Business Division at Divorce?
  • Do You Want Your Money Now or Later? Business Division at Vancouver Divorce?

This is not an easy task. In most cases you must invest to hire a Vancouver business evaluator toproperly value the business and divide business assets in divorce.

Real Estate Division

Dividing Real Estate in BC can be a very contentious under the BC Family Law. Many spouses have a family home in which they reside, commercial properties, vacation properties and/or rental properties. The value of real estate such as the family home are usually determined at the time of trial and not the time of separation. The general rule is that any dollar valuation gets divided equally. This is regardless of who resided at the family home after separation and paid the mortgage and other fees. It is always good to immediately settle your BC family law issues and not wait until trial to divide the family home.  Sometimes it is unfair to give half of it to your spouse when he/she did not contribute to its expenses after separation.

Types of Rea Estate under BC Family Law such as the family home, Commercial real estate and Rental properties. You and your spouse have the right to pick and choose which properties each of you will keep in case you do not want to divide every property in half. This is usually done by appraising all properties by hiring a professional appraiser. That person determines the total value. Then you can choose to buy the property out, sell it or have your interest bought out by your spouse.

Taxes

One of the biggest mistakes in family law is how people only focus on dividing property and not debt or the tax consequences that follow from property division. The new BC Family Law Act rule states that regardless of whether spouses have or do not have assets, debts and taxes are generally equally shared by spouses. If you fail to tell the judge to take family debts and tax consequences in to consideration before ordering a equal property division, then you risk having to pay for all the taxes and letting your spouse fly free with half of your assets. 

Real estate assets that usually attract taxes, whether capital gains or income tax are as follows:

  • Vacation homes
  • Rental homes
  • Investment properties
  • Real estate owned by your spouse’s or your companies
  • Commercial real estate, etc

Consult with our experienced Pax Law Asset and Debt Division Lawyers about obtaining an equitable division of your marital property.

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