Dividing Assets Acquired During Marriage Or Cohabitation
Following a relationship breakdown, dividing property is often a stressful and emotionally- charged. We will provide you a steady guiding hand and objective analysis to help you understand the legal framework of property division and help you negotiate a fair settlement.
Since 1985, we have helped both separating married spouses and cohabiting common law partners negotiate fair property division.
Dividing Property — Simple And Complex
For some families, property division is fairly straightforward. For others, it can be complex. Some of our clients have already agreed on a division and simply need our help to review or draft the terms of a separation agreement. Others require in-depth legal advice and representation for high-conflict cases.
The reality of many separating couples is that their total period of cohabitation before separation may include cohabitation before marriage as well as the marriage relationship. Property of one individual only may have been brought into either or both of these periods. A further complication is that the party’s joint resources may have been used to acquire property together during the pre-marriage cohabitation as well as the post-marriage cohabitation. We will help you sort out the legal rules that apply to your particular fact situation and help you arrive at a fair and cost-effective property division.
Negotiating A Fair Division Of Your Family Assets
Whatever the scope or level of your needs, we craft practical, cost-effective solutions involving consideration of the following types of assets and legal rules:
- Real estate
- Stock options
- Business shares
- Claims of unjust enrichment
- Unequal division of property
- Exempt property
Where possible, we help you negotiate a fair division of your family assets and debts. Where necessary, we are fully equipped to present your claim before a court judge. Whatever your case, we take a holistic approach to helping you make it successfully through the legal process and onto the next stage of your life.
The vast majority of legally binding divisions of property and debt take the form of negotiated private agreements.
Unjust Enrichment And Constructive Trusts
The reality of the current law of property division in Alberta is that a division of property acquired in the course of cohabitation outside marriage is not governed by statute law but rather by judge made legal principles such as the legal rules on “unjust enrichment” and when a court may declare a “remedial constructive trust” in favour of a party who establishes that without such a “remedial constructive trust” the other party would be “unjustly enriched”.
This is why negotiating a legally binding private agreement is so important, especially for non-married cohabiting partners. We will help you negotiate a proactive and cost effective prenuptial agreement or cohabitation agreement at the commencement of a relationship or a legally binding post separation agreement at the end of your relationship.