Property Division in British Columbia
Family property division can be a daunting task for those who are newly separated. In British Columbia, family property and debt are divided under part 5 of the Family Law Act. The act applies to married and common law couples who have been in a marriage like relationship for over two years. The legislation specifically sets out what includes “family property”, “family debt” and specifies when certain property is “excluded” from those definitions. Subject to an agreement or court order, spouses are both entitled to family property and responsible for family debt regardless of their use or contribution.
Family property includes all real and personal property, except excluded property, that is owned by at least one spouse. Family property can include assets such as the family home, recreational property, timeshares, cars, companies, proprietorships, bank accounts, investments, RRSPs, pensions and CPP credits. Excluded property includes property acquired by a spouse before the relationship began, inheritances, third party gifts, certain personal injury settlements/damages, certain insurance payouts and certain trust funds, including property derived from this type of property or the disposition of this type of property.
Navigating the rules of property division in British Columbia can be a confusing process. Our firm has experience in handling property division by agreement as well as complex litigation involving significant assets.
Applying for Property Division
If you want to apply for property division you must file a Notice of Family Claim in the BC Supreme Court within two years from the date you and your common law spouse separated or, if you were married, two years from the date you received an order for divorce.
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