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Matrimonial Property and Division of Assets

It is widely understood that in Alberta, upon divorce each spouse is entitled to 50% of all property and assets acquired during a marriage, subject to certain exemptions and other equitable exceptions to the rule.

While either party may end up keeping certain matrimonial assets, if one party retains assets that are worth more than what the other party is keeping, then the first spouse may be required to make an "equalization payment"--a cash payment to the other spouse that leaves each party with assets of equal value. In many circumstances where neither party is able to pay out the other for a substantial asset like the matrimonial home, then that asset has to be sold.

People coming out of common law or adult interdependent partner relationships will find that their property rights are governed by different legislation and rules than those who had entered into legal marriages. The interest that you may have in property acquired solely in the name of a common-law or adult interdependent partner will be a primarily a function of the contribution you made (direct or indirect) to the acquisition, maintenance or upkeep of that property.

What to Expect: Selected Topics in Matrimonial Property and Division of Assets

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