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The lawyers at Plat Simionati LLP are committed to advocacy and are trained extensively in negotiation, drafting domestic contracts, collaborative family law, mediation, arbitration and finally litigation when required. We are able to represent clients in all of these arears in order to obtain the best possible results for our clients.

Equalization: Marital Assets/Property

When two people are married to each other and then separate, they are entitled to share in the increase in value of each other’s property from the date of marriage to the date of separation. This is called an equalization payment. A party’s property is any interest that a party has in real or personal property and include such items bank accounts, investments, real estate, etc. There are items that are excluded property and are not included in any equalization payment such as inheritances or gifts received from a third party during the marriage, damages or a right to damages for personal injury, proceeds or a right to proceeds under a policy of life insurance, as well property that the parties have agreed was excluded in a domestic contract.

In some instances, a court may award one party an amount that is more or less than half of the difference between the net family properties if the court is of the opinion that equalizing the net family properties would be unconscionable. Some examples of this are when a party fails to disclose debts existing on the date of marriage, a spouse’s intentional or reckless depletion of their net family property, a short cohabitation which is less than 5 years or a written agreement between the parties which is not a domestic contract.

If unmarried (common law) parties separate, they are not automatically entitled to claim an equalization payment. However, upon a separation of common law parties, there may be able to claim a trust claim against property advanced.

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