Friends With Benefits? New B.C. Law Turns Live-In Lovers Into Married Couples

Posted by under Real Estate News

Have you been living in British Columbia with your significant other for more than two years? You might as well be married right? If you have answered ‘yes’ and ‘no’ to these questions respectively, you might be in for a shock.

British Columbia’s Family Law Act

Originally passed in November 23, 2011 and coming into effect March 18, 2013 the new act set minimum training and practice standards for family dispute resolution professionals and places the safety and best interest of the child first when families are going through separation and divorce, in addition to the the responsibilities of the division of assets if the relationships down (Ministry of Justice – Family Law Legislation).

Property Divisions: What you need to know

So if a relationship goes sour and the awkward and unpleasant moment arrives when you have to decide who gets what, how is this resolved? According to the Family Law Act, this is what happens:

  • Certain property (namely pre-relationship property as well as inheritances) will generally not be divided up.
  • Family property: This includes all property owned by one or both parties at the date of separation, unless the property is excluded. In this case, only the increase in the value of the asset during the relationship is divisible.
And what is most interesting:
  • Property divisions apply to married and unmarried couples who have lived in a marriage-like relationship.
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