Understanding Alberta’s Marital Property Division Guidelines

No matter how much people try, some marriages come to an end. In some cases, these come with lengthy legal battles—but there are ways to limit those concerns. One thing that can quicken the process is knowing what you are entitled to in the divorce.

For instance, if you are getting a divorce in Alberta, understanding marital property division will help you. Get started by checking out this brief guide today.

What Is the Matrimonial Property Act?

The Matrimonial Property Act is a provincial act that gives a court the power to decide how marital property is divided up after a divorce. This encompasses property acquired by either spouse during the marriage or property that one or both spouses brought into the union.

Items such as bank accounts and cars bought during the marriage are subject to this Act, though the specifics of what is considered to be “marital property” varies from case to case.

What Qualifies as Marital Assets in Alberta?

There are numerous types of assets that could be considered “marital assets” under Alberta’s Matrimonial Property Act, including real estate and vehicles. Once a court has determined that an asset is to be divided as part of a divorce, it then has to decide how the asset is to be divided.

Typically, if an asset is to be completely split 50/50, the division may be done as follows:

The spouses will decide what is to be done with the asset in question—for example, if you were to split a home, one of you may want to stay there and the other one may want to sell it.

If the parties disagree, a judge will make the final judgment.

Before you can decide on a division, you should know what the law states.

What Qualifies as Financial and Non-financial Contributions?

First, a “financial contribution” is one made with money or property. A “non-financial contribution” is any other type of contribution, such as time or effort.

In Alberta, the law states that all contributions to a marriage are to be considered when dividing marital property. This means that even your time spent caring for your children or household chores should be considered.

How Are Assets from before the Marriage Classified?

Generally, assets that one person owned before the marriage will continue to be classified as such. The law states that assets owned before the marriage cannot be considered marital assets and cannot be divided as such.

However, this does not mean that these assets will not be considered in a divorce proceeding. Instead, the judge must then decide how valuable these assets are and their value to the marriage. For instance, if one spouse brought a large amount of money into the marriage and used a portion of that money to build a business.

What Happens to the Matrimonial Home When a Couple Divorces?

Since a matrimonial home is considered a marital asset, it will likely be divided as such. However, there are other factors that will be considered when it comes to dividing the home.

For instance, if the couple owns two or more properties, the court will decide which one to divide and how to do so. In most cases, a matrimonial home is usually divided 50/50—but there are exceptions to this rule.

Final Thoughts

When it comes to getting a fair divorce, you want to make sure that you get what is rightfully yours. To do this, you should understand what you are entitled to, and how to divide it. One of the best ways to do this is to understand Alberta’s Matrimonial Property Act and the penalties that apply if you attempt to hide assets.

For more information on this matter, contact a divorce financial planner in Alberta who will guide you throughout the process. Here at Alberta Divorce Finances, you will get the guidance you need before, during, and after your divorce. Request a free consultation today to learn more.