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Do divorces have to split their pension with their ex?

Spouses who have financially supported a marriage can sometimes feel bitter when their financial obligations continue after a divorce. For this reason, some of the biggest points of contention for British Columbia couples during property division are retirement savings and pensions. Current family law standards may require those who have grown a pension over the course of a long-term marriage to split that with their ex-spouse, regardless of the circumstances around the divorce. 

Under British Columbia family law, all assets that have grown during the marriage are used to determine the net family property. For many couples who are ending a long marriage, this can include a pension. Separating assets is not only a legal issue but also a financial one so a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst (CFDA) may be helpful to retain early on. Financial issues to discuss not only include clarifying what assets exist, but also how retirement plans, estate plans and taxation will be affected by the split.

Some people may wonder whether their ex-spouse's behaviour, such as an addiction or adultery, can give them an upper hand in the courts. While this may come into play with custody disputes, Canadian family law dictates that it is not considered in financial negotiations. Likewise, arguing that someone will use the assets irresponsibly does not affect the decision made by the courts.

Knowledge and planning are important for those in British Columbia who are entering divorce negotiations or family court. While it might not be possible to retain everything one hopes for, legal support and an understanding of family law can make a big difference in these proceedings. A lawyer who specializes in divorce settlements can help provide guidance and defend a divorcee's interests over the course of his or her break up. 

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