Home | Legal Services | Family Law | Property Division

Understanding division of property for married couples

When two married spouses decide to separate, property division is determined by the Matrimonial Property Act (MPA), which sets out three kinds of property:  Exempt Property, Increase in value of exempt property, Matrimonial Property.

  • Exempt property - any property owned before the marriage, received by way of gift from a third party, property that has been inherited, an award or settlement for tort damages (i.e. if  you were injured in an accident), or proceeds of a non-property insurance policy.
  • Increase in value of exempt property - covers the increase in value of exempt property during the marriage or property acquired with income received from exempt property.
  • Matrimonial property - any property not covered by the other two categories as well as any debt or property acquired by the spouses jointly or separately during the marriage and after separation. 

Typical areas of dispute include what assets and debts are actually held by each spouse and whether property was owned prior to the relationship. 

Understanding division of property for unmarried couples

There are no laws governing the division of property for unmarried couples.  In general, jointly held assets are divided equally and property purchased during the relationship belongs to the person who can prove ownership.

It's recommended that unmarried couples not cohabitate until they have signed an agreement that sets out how property will be divided if they decide to separate. 

For more information about property division and other legal services offered by Family Law lawyers at Sharek Logan & van Leenen LLP, please refer to our Family Law FAQ page or contact us online.

Yes, I have legal questions about Property Division and Family Law

Please complete the form below to submit your inquiry to our Family law professionals.  We will review your request and respond as soon as possible.  Thank you.

Sharek Logan & van Leenen LLP Family Law Legal Team

Matthew Pagels

Associate

Kristy L. Moore

Associate

Pauline Blais

Student-at-Law

Privacy Policy | The Fine Print
Website Design By:
edmonton website design - Selaris Web Media Inc.
Website Content By:
Words at Work Advertising and Marketing