FAQs Property Division, Sharing & The Matrimonial Home

How do we divide up our property?

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Written by Russell Alexander ria@russellalexander.com / (905) 655-6335

The Divorce Act does not deal with sharing your property or debts. Each province and territory has its own law that sets out the rules for dividing the property and debts you and your spouse have.

“Property” includes such things as the home you and your spouse shared, its contents, any other real estate, pensions from employment, Canada or Quebec Pension Plan credits, RRSPs, investments, bank accounts and cash. Debts include such things as amounts you owe on your credit cards, your mortgage, and any loans you have. Some provinces or territories also include business assets in their definition of property. It is very important to receive legal advice on property division.

Usually, people who are separating come to an agreement about how to divide the property and debts fairly. This agreement may become part of the written separation agreement.

For separation agreements to be legally binding, they usually require independent legal advice and full financial disclosure.

In some provinces and territories, if you wait too long after your separation or divorce to make a claim, you may lose all your rights to share in family property or spousal support.

Canada Pension Plan (CPP) credits are a special category of property. Once you and your spouse are separated, and if you meet other basic requirements, you or your spouse can fill in a form to ask the CPP to divide equally the CPP credits you both earned while you were married. The Quebec Pension Plan (QPP) also allows you to split your pension credits.

Your local Canada Pension Plan office has pamphlets that tell you how to do this.

For more information on dividing property, please consult a lawyer.

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About the author

Russell Alexander

Russell Alexander is the founder of Russell Alexander Collaborative Family Lawyers and is the firm’s senior partner. At Russell Alexander, our focus is exclusively family law, offering pre-separation legal advice and assisting clients with family related issues, including: custody and access, separation agreements, child and spousal support, division of family property, paternity disputes, and enforcement of court orders. We have locations in Toronto, Markham, Whitby (Brooklin), Lindsay, and Peterborough.

For more information, visit our website, or you can call us at: 905-655-6335.