Division of Property and Pensions In Divorce or Separation

Division of Property and Pensions In Divorce or Separation

Property and Pension distribution are some of the most contentious issues after a separation or divorce, particularly because the rules vary depending on the type of relationship the couple was in.

Property can include everything owned by an individual:

  • Houses and real estate;
  • Cars and vehicles;
  • Personal and household items;
  • Bank accounts, RRSPs, investments, pensions, other financial assets;
  • Businesses

 Canadian law generally states that the value of a couple’s property should be shared when a couple separates or divorces.

Married Couples

The NFP calculation takes into account what was brought in and how much is left. The NFP calculation is the net worth of a married person at the end of a relationship. There are exceptions to the calculation rules for NFP that may include gifts or inheritances. However, if the money was put towards the matrimony home, it will be included in their NFP


If you are in a common-law relationship and your partner has given you money to contribute to their property, they may owe you an equalization payment.

Unjust Enrichment

In cases where you may have contributed financially or in some other way to your partner’s property, you may be able to claim a portion of that property – for instance, where you took care of the household work so your partner could do paid work, or you worked in a family business without pay. 

Matrimonial Homes

The matrimonial home is a home that the married couple lived in just before they separated. Your Spouse and you have an equal right to stay in your home. Neither spouse can sublet, rent, sell, or mortgage the home without the other’s permission.


Canada Pension Plan credits are a type of pension that most workers and employers contribute. Any other pension that you or your partner had while married is considered a piece of property under the Family Law Act and is included in the equalization calculation. 

From 2012 onward, pension plan members can make payments to former spouses from the pension itself. This new rule also applies to unmarried spouses who agree to share the value of the pension plan following separation.

In conclusion, division of property and pensions without understanding the calculations can be difficult.

We highly discourage anyone from seeking out legal advice through this article. This article only provides general information and should you have any further questions regarding the division of property and pensions in family matters, please contact us to book a free initial consultation 905-366-0202 or through our website here.

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