The division of assets in the Divorce context is governed by the Matrimonial Property Act.
After your relationship breaks down, you often have property that needs to be divided. This means determining what property is yours alone, what property is joint, and to what property you and your ex will each have a right. This is in part determined by whether you were married or common law.
The Matrimonial Act governs the division of property in a Divorce. If you were married you are generally entitled to one half of the property that was acquired during the marriage, and one half of the increase in value of an asset brought into the marriage. This may include bank accounts, pensions, houses, vehicles and any other possessions. However, sometimes exceptions apply and legal advice is important to ensure that all property is known and it is divided fairly.
The division of assets in the Common Law context is governed by the principles of unjust enrichment.
If you were common law, there is no presumption of a 50/50 split on property. Instead, division is determine by the principles of unjust enrichment or constructive trust. This means that if you contributed to the value of the property, you have some right to the property, regardless of who’s name the property is in, or who is in possession of that property. Your right to the property may not be a full 50% of the value, or it may be greater than 50% of the value. Your contribution may have been financial, or it may have been indirect contributions like housekeeping, cleaning, renovations, handling bookkeeping, or caring for the children so the other party is able to work. Your rights will depend on a variety of circumstances that are explored though legal advice tailored to your particular situation.
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