Don’t hold back when it comes to property division

On behalf of Gary Kirk of Kirk Montoute Dawson LLP posted in High Asset Divorce on Tuesday, February 21, 2017.

It is safe to say that in the majority of divorces, each party is primarily concerned with his or her own welfare. This may be especially true when it comes to the contentious matter of property division, especially when the stakes are high. As a result, it may be tempting to keep a little something in reserve for one’s self, especially if it was always a concealed asset.

Tempting as that may be, it is required during a divorce that all assets be made public. This includes assets that were previously kept hidden, such as secret bank accounts. Generally speaking, all assets are considered marital in Alberta, and must be reviewed during property division.

There are those who believe whatever money a person earns should remain the property of that person. However, all money earned by either spouse becomes the property of both. This also applies to real property and possessions accumulated secretly. In some cases, an asset can be declared the sole property of one person, but it must be revealed in order for the declaration to be made.

During divorce proceedings, a sworn financial statement must be completed. Leaving an asset out of this document, is essentially committing perjury. If the omission is brought to light, the other spouse could file a motion for a judge to settle the issue. Seldom does the settlement favour the spouse who chose to conceal his or her true worth.

There is no doubt that a divorce can be an emotionally charged event. While the desire to keep one’s money and possessions may be strong, it is always best to proceed in an honest fashion in order to get the best results. An experienced lawyer can help a person navigate the tricky waters of divorce and property division in Alberta with confidence.

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