Property Division

Property division is governed by Part 5, Section 65 of the Family Relations Act, R.S.B.C. 1996, c. 128.  The factors the court considers are as follows:

Judicial reapportionment on basis of fairness

65  (1) If the provisions for division of property between spouses under section 56, Part 6 or their marriage agreement, as the case may be, would be unfair having regard to

(a) the duration of the marriage,

(b) the duration of the period during which the spouses have lived separate and apart,

(c) the date when property was acquired or disposed of,

(d) the extent to which property was acquired by one spouse through inheritance or gift,

(e) the needs of each spouse to become or remain economically independent and self sufficient, or

(f) any other circumstances relating to the acquisition, preservation, maintenance, improvement or use of property or the capacity or liabilities of a spouse,

the Supreme Court, on application, may order that the property covered by section 56, Part 6 or the marriage agreement, as the case may be, be divided into shares fixed by the court.

(2) Additionally or alternatively, the court may order that other property not covered by section 56, Part 6 or the marriage agreement, as the case may be, of one spouse be vested in the other spouse.

(3) If the division of a pension under Part 6 would be unfair having regard to the exclusion from division of the portion of a pension earned before the marriage and it is inconvenient to adjust the division by reapportioning entitlement to another asset, the Supreme Court, on application, may divide the excluded portion between the spouse and member into shares fixed by the court.

There is no one magical formula to determine reapportionment pursuant to the Family Relations Act but the starting point in any property division matter is that each person is entitled to an equal share of the family property.  Reapportionment is at the discretion of the trial judge.  Family property may include what is called real property (i.e. land) and personal property (i.e. art work, jewelery, and other personal items).