Dealing with the financial fallout of divorce
Most asset issues are dealt with through the negotiation of a separation agreement, which can at times become a battleground for separating couples. A scenario which can cost up to $40,000 in legal fees.
Generally, Quebec couples opt to reach an equitable agreement through a mediator and limit their costs to $5,000 or less.
Most Quebec couples are governed by laws under which each spouse retains ownership of property brought into the marriage, with acquired assets being divided equally. Some notarized marriage contracts may have a “separation as to property” clause, allowing couples to maintain all of their assets separately.
When evaluating divisible assets, the following items generally fall under the category of family patrimony:
• Household furniture;
• Family vehicles;
• Registered Retirement Savings Plan, Registered Retirement Income Funds, registered annuity or employer-sponsored pension plan benefits accrued during the marriage;
• Earnings from the Quebec Pension Plan or Canada Pension Plan during the marriage.
In some cases, the complexities of financial separation may in fact overshadow the emotions of physical separation. But one thing is certain: ensuring a fair and equitable financial separation early on is the first step to moving forward in your newly independent life.
Edited on 29 March 2016