Property Division - Galbraith Family Law

Keeping Things Fair Through Tough Times

Going through a divorce is a difficult process that can involve not only complicated emotions but also complicated legal issues. Valuing and dividing property between spouses is one such area where the process and the applicable legal rules can be quite complex, and a skilled divorce lawyer can be a vital ally who can help you understand how to fairly and evenly distribute your joint assets and prevent a long, tiresome fight for property that will simply make an already trying time even worse.

How is Property Valued and Divided?

Before determining who is entitled to get what after a divorce or separation, the “net family property” of each spouse needs to be determined. A “valuation date” – often the date of separation – is chosen to determine the value of each spouse’s assets. Valuations are typically taken on possessions of significant value, including homes, businesses and vehicles. Excluded from the asset valuation are inheritances, pensions, insurance proceeds, gifts, and personal injury awards. Spouses cannot lay any claim to property acquired by the other after the valuation date.

Valuations are also taken of each spouse’s assets and liabilities on the day you were married. Any debts or other liabilities each spouse has are subtracted from their asset value.

The spouse with the higher net family property is required to pay the other spouse an “equalization payment,” or half of the difference between the two net family property amounts. This makes for equity in terms of the value of property acquired during the marriage. In some cases, a court may determine that the calculated payment for one spouse is unfair and reduce the equalization amounts to be paid; this is likely to happen if the court determines that one spouse was careless with finances.  Also, if your marriage lasted less than five years, the court might allow for an unequal division of net family property.

An experienced divorce lawyer can assist you with the property valuation and division process and ensure that as you and your spouse go your separate ways, you receive a fair and equitable distribution of assets.

Galbraith Family Law: Resolving Family Conflict With Heart

The Barrie law firm of Galbraith Family Law is committed to providing superior legal services for every client. The firm helps clients resolve issues related to separation and divorce, including custody, access, child support, spousal support, equalization and division of property. They are experienced in many types of approaches to family law matters, from collaborative practice to litigation. Brian Galbraith brings more than 20 years of legal experience to his cases, and has earned a reputation in the Ontario legal community as a lawyer of honesty, integrity, and passion—qualities his clients need and appreciate. He understands first-hand the uncertainty and upheaval a divorce can cause, and is committed to providing his clients with sound legal advice during difficult times in their lives. Brian Galbraith’s office is located at 124 Dunlop St. West, Barrie, Ontario L4N 1B1 or he can be reached by calling (705) 999-8957.