Our Vancouver Property Division Lawyers draw your attention to BC Family Property and Debt under the new BC Family Law Act which came in to effect in 2013. It made huge changes to what is BC Family Property and Debt, and how to divided them at separation or divorce.

Changes under BC Family Law Act – Vancouver Property Division Lawyers Explain

The BC Family Law Act by default says that generally BC family property and debt are subject to equal division between spousal unless it would be significantly unfair to divide the property equally. Let’s see what this means:

If you and your spouse purchase a property during the marriage and it’s worth $1,000,000. Upon relationship breakdown, technically you and your spouse are entitled to 50% of that property. So you each get $500,000. In some circumstances a 50/50 division would be very unfair..there are examples of this and we explain here.

If BC Family Property is Excluded, your spouse will not have any entitlement to it.

First let’s look at what is considered BC Family Property:

BC Family Property and Debt – Vancouver Family Lawyers Explain

BC Family Property Includes:

  1. Real estate – click here for a discussion of BC Property Division for Real Estate, .
  2. Business – click here for a discussion on dividing businesses.
  3. RRSPs – click here for a discussion on dividing RRSPs.
  4. Cars
  5. RESPs
  6. Pensions – click here for a discussion on dividing pensions.
  7. Benefits
  8. Investments and Mutual Funds
  9. Savings
  10. Cash
  11. Life insurance
  12. Jewelry
  13. Collections
  14. Money owing to a spouse by others
  15. Gifts between spouses
  16. Some trusts including family trusts
  17. Taxes and tax refunds, etc. For a discussion on how taxes are divided, click here.

What are BC Family Debts? Vancouver Property Division Lawyers Explain

Family debts are debts which have been incurred during the relationship or marriage and by one or both spouses. So if your husband incurred debt during the marriage, you will likely have to bear half of the debt responsibility after separation and vice versa. Even if that debt is his business debt and you had nothing to do with it.

Many people argue that they should not be responsible for their spouse’s debt and at the same time argue that they need half of the spouse’s assets. This is not going to work in most cases.

Unless your spouse was absolutely reckless and insane with his/her spending and debt, generally spouses are liable for each other’s debts. You were a family unit and so should bear responsibilities as a unit and together, not separate. It is assumed that during the marriage, you made joint decisions and now you have to bear the responsibility for them. For a detailed discussion on tax as debt, click here

If one of the spouses incurs substantial debts after separation, then you will have a better argument why you should not be responsible for half of it.

For a comprehensive initial consult regarding your rights and obligations regarding BC Property Division and Debt, contact our Vancouver Property Division Lawyers at 604-974-9529 or get in touch. 

This article originally posted on August 14, 2015 was updated in October, 2016 for more freshness, comprehensiveness and accuracy. 

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