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Property division in divorce

Very few people enter a marriage expecting it to end in divorce. But with divorce rates hovering steadily at the 50 percent mark here in British Columbia and elsewhere in the nation, it is important to at least consider the potential before walking down the aisle. Property division in a divorce settlement can be very rocky for those who are not prepared for the realities of that process. 

How property is divided in a divorce often depends on the state or province in which the couple resides. However, some things are true across the board. Generally speaking, property or assets that are accrued during the course of the marriage are considered marital assets and are subject to division. However, in some cases, a single spouse can retain ownership of an asset or property even if it is accrued while wed. 

For example, if a spouse inherits money from a deceased relative and that money is left invested strictly in that spouse's name, it can be exempted from the marital property label. This is because it does not technically count toward the net family property. However, if that money is invested jointly with a spouse or used to invest in family property, even if it is to pay down family debts, it becomes part of the net family property and can be divided if a divorce occurs. 

There are many complicated ins and outs of property division as it relates to divorce. British Columbia couples who are unclear on how their assets will be divided could benefit strongly from the support of experienced divorce attorneys who can help both parties understand the law. This, in turn, can lead to a more equitable settlement for both parties.

Source:, "Protect yourself from the unexpected realities of life", Bill Green, May 19, 2017

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