Yours, mine and ours. That’s what needs to be decided when it comes to property division when a couple is headed for divorce. The matrimonial home is likely the thing around which the biggest and often most contentious decisions are made. Separating property — including the matrimonial home — is governed by provincial legislation in British Columbia, whether the couple is married or unmarried, in a heterosexual relationship or a same-sex one.
To qualify as a matrimonial home, a property must be ordinarily occupied at the time of the couple’s separation. The problem is, these types of terms leave room for various interpretations. The couple might own a cottage which still could be considered a matrimonial home since it doesn’t have to be occupied all the time. More often than not, a family court judge will rule that a recreational property can also fit the bill of a matrimonial home if used within a reasonable time prior to the separation.
Most couples believe that property is almost always divided equally between them, but that is not written in stone. There are so many variables when it comes to property division, that couples may easily get confused. This is where the help of an experienced lawyer may prove to be invaluable.
Property division not only means dividing assets, but also dividing debts incurred during the marriage as well. This can be a daunting and complex task. A lawyer may be able to help a client to better understand British Columbia family law and how it pertains to the division of property.