Dividing your Property and Debts
Taking apart a life you have built with another person can be difficult – both emotionally and procedurally. At Long Family Law Group LLP, our goal is to help alleviate this burden by providing our clients with solutions that put them in a better place in which to move forward.
Based in Edmonton, Alberta, we help married and common-law separated parties divide their assets and resolve conflicts related to real and personal property, accounts and investments, and outstanding debts.
Dividing The Family Home
We know that dividing a life can be harder than just crunching numbers. Memories, lifestyle changes and stability are all factors that can complicate the issue.
We know how important a matrimonial home can be for a family, so we make every effort to help you and your former partner arrive at a solution that allows both of you to move forward after a divorce. Whether that’s selling the property, allowing one spouse to keep it, or finding another alternative, we make sure the solution is specifically suited to meet your needs.
Unmarried or Common Law Couples
For couples who are not married and separated before January 1, 2020, or for couples who were together but never became Adult Interdependent Partners, dividing property can be very different from other situations. If you fall under one of these categories, you will face more grey areas in property matters as there is currently no legislation outlining your property rights.
Since there is no legislation which outlines rights and obligations of common law partners regarding property, the courts have filled in with “judge made” law in a series of written decisions that provide guidance, but not certainty, about property division upon separation. These decisions generally deal with principles of “unjust enrichment” and “constructive trust” to build outcomes that have as their goal fairness and consistency. They do not provide for “equality” of result; rather the term is “equity”, a subjective notion that requires case by case analysis. This is complex. Get legal advice.
We know how frustrating it can be to pursue an outcome when there is no clear legislation that outlines your rights. This can be further complicated by the emotional nature of ending a relationship. At Long Family Law Group LLP, our legal team understands how difficult this time can be for you and your partner.
We offer an objective perspective on your needs and help you separate the emotional noise from the legal issues that need to be addressed. We use our extensive knowledge and experience guiding common-law couples through separation to help you arrive at a reasonable solution.
Dividing Personal Property
Banking issues, pensions, vehicles, sentimental items – these can all be difficult to divide upon separation. It is complicated by many factors. For example, the date of separation may impact property division, although there is no law that says assets are to be valued at separation. Also, you or your former spouse may own contingent assets such as stock options, the value of which can only be determined by future eventualities (stock values or exercise of options). Many assets can only be valued by estimates provided by experts, such as defined benefit pension plans.
Our legal team will guide you to determine what items should be considered family assets, and methods of division.
Dividing Real Property
The matrimonial home, vacation and recreational properties, and jointly held properties can all present complicated issues in divorce and separation cases. It can be even more complex for common-law couples, as matrimonial property legislation regarding property division do not apply to them in Alberta. That said, complex case law defines how to deal with property of common law partners upon separation. You need legal advice about this. It is not simple.
At Long Family Law Group LLP, we try to reduce the likelihood of adversarial litigation by focusing on finding meaningful solutions that can help you move forward after separation.
Questions? Get In Touch With Us!
Contact Long Family Law Group LLP for more information. You can also arrange a consultation by sending us an email using our online form or by calling 780-461-8416.