Each province

in Canada has unique legislation concerning the division of Property; in Alberta that legislation is the Family Property Act. The Act concerns the property of married and unmarried couples.

Under the Family Property Act there are 3 categories of property:

1. Exempt Property – which includes, property owned before marriage, property received as a gift, property received as an inheritance and damages in tort such as a personal injury settlement.

2. Increase in value of exempt property – The act states that the increase of the value of exempt property is subject to division.

3. All other family property – Under the Act all other property of the spouses is subject to equal division unless a court deems in unfair. Courts are hesitant to depart from an equal division of the property. In most marriages the property will fall within this category.

Under the Family Property Act the value of the property is determined at the date of trial not the date of separation. However, if the divorcing couples agree, they can determine another date to determine the value of the property. Typically the parties enter into a Family Property Agreement dividing the property with agreed to values and agreed to valuation dates. The Family Property Act outlines the formal requirements to make such agreements legally valid, including the written acknowledgment of legal advice by a lawyer in the agreement.

Contact a St. Albert or Edmonton family lawyer; or a St. Albert or Edmonton divorce lawyer for further information or to answer any questions you might have.