The matrimonial property act
Your wedding is a special day. Your friends travel far and wide to attend. You and your spouse are nervous because all eyes are on you. Excited to be sharing this moment with the people you love. You feel like you’re on a cloud while you take your vows to love one another ‘til death do us part. It’s important to know how Nova Scotia’s Matrimonial Property Act affects married couples.
In Nova Scotia, we have the Matrimonial Property Act. Property that you owned before or during your marriage is covered by the act. For instance, if one partner were to take a property that they own into their marriage, it would then be owned by both once they’re married. The Matrimonial Property Act is only applicable to married couples, or those that are in a Registered Domestic Partnership. If you are in a common law partnership the Act does not apply unless you register with Vital Statistics as a Domestic Partnership.
What is matrimonial property?
Matrimonial property, or matrimonial assets, covers more than just the home you and your partner live in. This includes the physical things that you own and any abstract assets you may have. The act covers a couple’s home and any other properties that they own. This also includes any furniture and vehicles that they own. Other assets included in the act include pensions, RRSPs, savings, stocks and bonds, and income tax refunds.
There are many exceptions to what can be considered a matrimonial asset. If you or your partner receives a gift or inheritance from another person, it may not be considered matrimonial property. Gifts that benefits your family are considered matrimonial property. Insurance payouts or damages that are awarded to you by a court are also not covered by the act. If you own property that is covered by a prenuptial agreement this is not included. Sadly, you can’t claim anything on that boat your spouse bought after the divorce!
What is matrimonial debt?
Debt used for family matters is considered matrimonial debt. This can include things like a mortgage or a car loan. Some debts after a separation may still be covered by the act if they’re used to pay for necessary expenses. This could be living expenses during the separation and any payments to maintain the family assets. If you go through a separation or divorce your assets and debts are split evenly.
When you get divorced, your assets and debts are evaluated, and you’re given a net amount. The net amount is calculated by finding the difference in their assets and debt. The partner evaluated with the higher net amount is required to pay a higher amount to the other spouse to ensure that both partners wind up with the same net amount.
When looking at how the Matrimonial Property Act in Nova Scotia can affect you and your spouse, talk to one of our mortgage brokers at Clinton Wilkins Mortgage Team. You can give us a call at 902-482-2770 or get in touch with us here.