Upon separation, married spouses are entitled to an equalization of their net family property. This means that they are entitled, not to the division of the property itself, but to the equalization of the value of the property. The process involves the application of a specific calculation which is set out in detail in the Family Law Act known as the equalization of net family property.
Equalization of net family property results in one spouse (the one with the greater net family property) owing the other spouse a debt (equalization payment). It’s important to note that an equalization payment may amount to more or less than half of the other spouse’s total assets.
When calculating net family property, the value of all types of ‘property’ is included in the calculation: land, buildings, bank accounts, businesses, stock, stock options, pensions’ accounts receivable etc.
Application of the principles governing equalization of net family property can be complex, and subject to many variables which can have a significant impact on the bottom line. When it comes to property division, it pays to consult a lawyer and Kain & Ball is the logical choice based on our extensive experience.
Unlike married spouses, unmarried spouses do not have the automatic right to equalization of net family property under the Family Law Act. This is not to say, however that unmarried spouses do not have any property rights. The extent to which persons who are not married may assert a claim against each other with respect to property varies widely depending on the circumstances relating to their relationship and the property in question. At Kain & Ball, we have dealt with numerous cases involving the property rights of unmarried spouses. Our legal team is familiar with the complex issues that arise in these kinds of cases, and we are ready to assist you.