Family property and debt must be divided equally following a divorce or separation unless an equal division would be significantly unfair. However, the Supreme Court of British Columbia has wide discretion to divide family property and debt unequally if the court determines that equal division will result in significant unfairness.

At Henderson Heinrichs LLP, our family lawyers have over 20 years of experience guiding clients through the complexities of property division at the breakdown of a relationship. Based in Vancouver, our legal team is able to help you determine the correct approach to the division of family property and debt in your unique case.

Will an Unequal Division Apply in My Case?

The Family Law Act (the “FLA”) has created a high threshold for departing from an equal division of family property and debt. An unequal division will only be ordered by the Supreme Court when the division of family property and debt equally would result in “significant unfairness.” “Significant” is understood to mean more than a regular impact. The consequences of an equal division must be weighty and result in unfairness that would be compelling or meaningful.

A determination of significant unfairness will depend on the individual facts of each case, and once significant unfairness has been determined, the FLA provides the court with a broad discretion to divide family property unequally.

Factors that favour a finding of significant unfairness include relationships of short duration and unequal contributions to family property. Family property may be divided unequally to address the unmet need of a spouse who is entitled to receive spousal support and where the objectives of an order for spousal support cannot be met. A failure to disclose financial information may also be addressed through the unequal distribution of family property or family debt.

Legal Advice Tailored To Your Specific Needs

There’s more than one way to resolve property division during divorce or separation proceedings. Our goal is to assist you in finding a strategy that will make sense for you and your family.

At Henderson Heinrichs LLP, our legal team will highlight the likelihood of achieving your goals through settlement negotiations, mediation proceedings or litigation. Moving forward with the strategy that works best, we will provide a customized legal strategy that specifically targets the goals you want to achieve.

Understand Your Risk. Protect Yourself.

Learn more about our legal services. Call our firm at 1-844-669-3500 or arrange a free half-hour consultation using our online booking form.