Accounting for complex assets in a divorce settlement

On behalf of Gary Kirk of Kirk Montoute Dawson LLP posted in High Asset Divorce on Monday, January 19, 2015.

The accurate valuation of matrimonial property can pose an array of challenges, perhaps especially if the spouses have acquired significant assets over time. These could include business assets, registered retirement savings plans, non-registered investments, pensions, stocks, real estate and commercial property, not to mention bank accounts, vehicles and the matrimonial home and all its furnishings.

Many of these issues can be addressed in a prenuptial agreement or a cohabitation agreement, but not every couple in Calgary takes these steps. If you are dealing with complex assets at the time of your divorce, then it is important that you have the help of a lawyer with the experience and resources to paint an accurate picture of your financial situation and negotiate for a fair outcome.

While Alberta law presumes that matrimonial property will be divided equally between the divorcing spouses, the idea of a 50-50 division is only a starting point. Complex assets require in-depth analysis, including the determination of whether assets have increased or decreased in value during the marriage.

The lawyers at Kirk Montoute Dawson LLP work with accountants, business valuators and financial advisors in order to protect clients’ financial interests.

More than ever before, Canadians over 50 are divorcing, and many in this age group have acquired complex assets that require special analysis for a fair divorce settlement. Not properly accounting for and valuing these assets can affect one’s financial life for years to come. For more on these issues, please see our article, “Rise of Grey Divorce Poses Unique Financial Questions for Couples.”

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