Thursday, March 21, 2013

British Columbia Law Changes: Marriage-Like Relationships & “Family Property”

Effective March 18, 2003, there has been a major change in the marriage laws of British Columbia, Canada. The new Family Law Act is now in full force and effect. It replaces the Family Relations Act.

Couples of the same or opposite gender who are in a “marriage-like” relationship for more than two years are treated as “spouses” for the purposes of the law and are subject to the same property-division rules as married people.

In addition, family property now includes all property owned by one or both spouses at the date of separation unless the asset is excluded, in which case only the increase in the value of the asset during the relationship is divisible. Whether an asset is used for a family purpose is no longer relevant in deciding if it is family property.