MYTH: “Upon separation, all assets are divided 50/50.”
FACT: While the Family Law Act provides for a prima facie (on the face of it) equal division of assets and family debt at paragraph 81, this equal division is qualified by the words “subject to an agreement or order otherwise”. This contemplates a variety of scenarios where an equal division would not occur including, but not limited to the following scenarios:
- The parties entered into an agreement (either a cohabitation agreement at the start of the relationship or a separation agreement at the end of the relationship) that provided for an unequal division of assets;
- There are excluded assets as defined under s.85 of the Family Law Act that go back to the person who originally owned them and are not included in the property split at all;
- The courts made an order under section 95 of the Family Law Act for an unequal division of assets after considering facts such as:
The length of the relationship;
The financial contributions of either party;
The non-financial contributions of either party, including as homemaker and/or primary carer of the children;
The future earnings of the parties;
Who will have primary care of the children moving forward
Any health issues of either party, or the children.
4. The parties agree to an unequal division of assets to satisfy lump sum spousal support.
Every circumstance is unique and in order to know what your rights are, it is important for each party to obtain independent legal advice at an early stage. If you have any questions Seeger Law is here to help 778 478 1168