Manitoba Family Law
Property Division Lawyers in Winnipeg
Your Family matters
Property Division Lawyers Protecting Your Families Assets in Manitoba
We at Visionary Law are dedicated counsel for clients in Winnipeg and the surrounding communities.
Part of the divorce/separation process is dividing a couple’s property, assets and debts. At Visionary Law, our lawyers are experienced in helping clients with estates that range from the highly complex to the simple and straightforward. We work strategically alongside you to identify what forms part of a family property accounting and ensure your voice is heard and your assets are protected.
Regardless of whether you need help adding a property division provision to a separation agreement, or need us to argue for your rights in court, our experienced legal team is ready to provide you with competent counsel from beginning to end.
Identifying family assets
One of the first steps in the property division process in Canada is to compile an accurate list of family assets and debts. The Family Property Act defines family assets as property that is used for family purposes, such as transportation, shelter, and/or recreation. Examples of family assets include:
- Family home
- Family vacation property
- Family cars, trucks, and other motor-vehicles
- Registered retirement savings plans (RRPS’s)
- Funds located in savings, checking, or current accounts
- Rights under life or accident and sickness policies or annuity policies
No matter how amicable your divorce or separation may seem, a disagreement over the property division process can lead to contention and a serious legal dispute. At Visionary Law, we know how to skillfully handle even the most heated arguments so that our clients can negotiate mutually beneficial terms with their spouse.
Understanding how The Homesteads Act of Manitoba protects your home
Any property you use as your family residence is considered your family home. The Homesteads Act of Manitoba protects the family residence so that if one spouse owns and wishes to sell the home, they must first obtain written consent from other.
In the event that the owner spouse or common-law partner passes away, the non-owning spouse has the right to live the rest of their life in the family home, regardless of what the deceased’s will may otherwise suggest. To qualify as common-law under The Homesteads Act of Manitoba, you must either register your relationship with the Vital Statistics Agency or live as common-law partners in a conjugal relationship for a minimum of three years.
How is Property Divided in a Divorce in Manitoba?
In a divorce in Manitoba, property division follows the principles of equitable distribution. The Family Property Act governs the division of property between spouses upon the breakdown of a marriage.
Manitoba is not a “community property” province, meaning that property is not automatically split 50/50. Instead, the court considers various factors, such as the length of the marriage, the financial contributions of each spouse, their respective needs, and the economic consequences of the marriage breakdown. The goal is to achieve a fair and just division of property.
While matrimonial assets, including the family home, pensions, investments, and debts, are typically subject to division, certain assets, such as inheritances or gifts received by one spouse, may be treated differently. It’s essential to consult with a knowledgeable family law lawyer in Manitoba to understand how these laws apply to your specific situation and to navigate the property division process effectively.
What factors are considered in property division during a separation in Manitoba?
During a separation in Manitoba, several factors are considered in property division. The court takes into account the length of the marriage or common-law relationship, the contributions made by each spouse, both financial and non-financial, and the economic circumstances of each party.
Other factors include the care of children, the needs and future prospects of each spouse, and any existing agreements or arrangements between the parties regarding property division. The goal is to achieve a fair and equitable distribution of property based on these factors. It’s important to note that property division laws may vary depending on the specific circumstances of each case, and the court has the discretion to make decisions that are just and reasonable.
Seeking guidance from an experienced family law lawyer in Manitoba is crucial to understand how these factors apply to your situation and ensure a smooth and fair property division process.
What is the process for property division in common-law relationships in Manitoba?
In Manitoba, the process for property division in common-law relationships differs from that of married couples. Common-law partners are not subject to the same property division laws as married couples. Instead, property division is determined based on the principles of unjust enrichment and resulting trust.
When a common-law relationship ends, each partner retains the property they own individually. However, if one partner can demonstrate that they have contributed to the acquisition, maintenance, or improvement of the other partner’s property, they may be entitled to a share of that property’s value.
This is based on the concept of unjust enrichment, where one party unjustly benefits at the expense of the other. The burden of proof rests on the claimant to establish their contribution to the property. It’s important for common-law partners to seek legal advice from an experienced family law lawyer in Manitoba to understand their rights and navigate the property division process effectively.
Can I protect my pre-marital assets during property division in Manitoba?
In Manitoba, pre-marital assets can be protected to some extent during property division in the event of a divorce. While there is no automatic exclusion of pre-marital assets from division, they may be treated differently depending on certain factors.
To protect your pre-marital assets, you can consider entering into a prenuptial agreement (also known as a marriage contract or domestic contract) with your spouse before getting married. This agreement allows you to specify how your assets will be divided in the event of a divorce.
However, it’s crucial to ensure that the agreement meets the legal requirements and is fair and reasonable to both parties for it to be enforceable. If you didn’t sign a prenuptial agreement, the court will consider various factors such as the length of the marriage, financial contributions, and the economic consequences of the marriage breakdown when determining property division. While pre-marital assets may not be entirely protected, they may be taken into account when determining a fair and equitable division of property.
Seeking guidance from a knowledgeable family law lawyer in Manitoba is essential to understand how pre-marital assets are treated and to protect your interests during property division.
Contact experienced property division lawyers in Winnipeg
If you need trusted guidance dividing your family assets in Manitoba, our lawyers at Visionary Law are standing by to assist you. Call (204) 515-6020 or fill out the form below to schedule an initial consultation with a knowledgeable lawyer today.
Request an Initial Consultation
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