Your Family matters
The lawyers blog
The date of separation is particularly significant in matters of family property. It is sometimes referred to as the valuation date, the date on which a person’s assets (i.e. vehicles, pensions, investments in their name alone, acquired during the relationship) and debts are valued and accounted for.
A Pre-Nuptial Agreement is an Agreement between spouses that primarily sets out how they wish to deal with their assets and debts, whether jointly owned or individually owned, should the couple separate. These agreements also typically set out what happens on the death of either spouse.
Family assets are, for the most part, valued based on their fair market value. There are a few assets however that receive special treatment and are discounted to account for the cost of disposition if they are being retained by one party alone.
The Family Property Act does not deal with the actual ownership or equal division of a couple’s assets. What it provides is a mechanism to equalize the net value that each party is left with.
Blended families are more common than ever in Manitoba. According to the 2016 census, one in every ten Canadian children is living in a step-family. However, what happens when a blended family separates?
Common law partners now have many of the rights and obligations traditionally available only to married couples. Marital status is a straightforward point (married or unmarried), as are common-law relationships that have been registered with Vital Statistics.
Separation Agreements are contracts between two separating spouses. A separation Agreement can give you everything a court can give you with one exception, a divorce. It is therefore possible for non-married persons to never file any court papers but rather conduct themselves solely by way of agreement.
“How do I get a legal separation?” A common question for people facing the daunting idea of ending a marriage or common law relationship is how to “legally separate.” In addition to the emotional weight of this process are the practical issues of separating your financial affairs and setting arrangements for children.