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What are classified as marital assets in Canada

June 11, 2015

One of the big issues that people face when they are getting divorced is dividing the marital assets. Some people don’t fully understand what is counted as marital assets. They might think that their own pay is their own money; however, if it is pay that you earned while you were married, it is a marital asset. Understanding some basic points about marital assets can help you ensure that you are getting a good settlement when the time comes to divide these assets.

In the most general of terms, marital assets are anything that was acquired while you were married. This can include your home, car, bank accounts, stock earnings, furniture and appliances, as well as other items.

Even if items, such as the matrimonial home, are only in one spouse’s name, they are still considered marital assets. As is the case with a lot of legal concepts, there are a few items that aren’t considered marital assets.

Inheritances, trusts and gifts might not be considered marital assets. If you used these items to better the marriage or family situation, they might be considered marital assets. Insurance settlements, business assets and insurance proceeds follow the same guideline as inheritances, trusts and gifts.

Another exemption is anything that was covered under a separation agreement or marriage contract. Property that was acquired after you and your ex separated is also exempt from being considered marital property.

When you are getting a divorce, determining what is classified as marital property can be complex, especially if your divorce will be a high-asset divorce. Learning the difference can help you as you negotiate a settlement.

Source: MoneySense, “Divorce and the division of assets,” Romana King, accessed June 11, 2015

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