How Do I Get Out of Sharing My Assets?

From Clicklaw Wikibooks

Married spouses and unmarried spouses

Married spouses and unmarried couples who have lived together for at least two years are presumed to have a one-half interest in all property either or both of them acquired after the date the couple married or began to live together, whichever came first. Certain property is excluded from the family property the spouses are expected to divide, including:

  • the value of the property owned by each spouse on the date the couple married or began to live together, whichever came first,
  • property bought with the property owned by each spouse on the date the couple married or began to live together,
  • inheritances and gifts received during the relationship,
  • court awards and insurance proceeds received during the relationship, and
  • trusts to which the spouse did not contribute and does not control.

If you want to do better than this, you'll have to sign a marriage agreement or a cohabitation agreement at some point before or shortly after you marry or begin to live together.

If you don't want to spend the money getting an agreement drawn up, here are some other things that can help:

  • When you begin to live together, take copies of the statements from all of your bank, investment, retirement, credit and loan accounts, copies of your BC Assessments for all real property, staple them together and put them in a safety deposit box. This will help you to establish the value of the property you brought into the relationship.
  • During your relationship, keep a careful record of what you buy with the property you brought into the relationship.
  • During your relationship, keep records of the dates and values of any inheritances, gifts, insurance proceeds or court award that you receive.
  • Keep an eye on the debts your spouse incurs during the relationship.

You can find out more about how married spouses and unmarried spouses divide property in the chapter Property & Debt in Family Law Matters.


This information applies to British Columbia, Canada. Last reviewed for legal accuracy by Thomas Wallwork, May 9, 2017.



Creativecommonssmall.png JP Boyd on Family Law © John-Paul Boyd and Courthouse Libraries BC is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 Canada Licence.


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