Alberta’s Rules Surrounding Pension Division During Divorce

Alberta’s Rules Surrounding Pension Division During Divorce

Unless a pre-existing marriage contracts exist, the division of pensions amongst couples who are about to dissolve their relationship is governed under Alberta’s Matrimonial Property Act. Matrimonial property refers to all property that has been accrued during a marriage and generally this form of property is usually divided equally between spouses during a breakdown except in special circumstances where other factors are also taken into consideration. The division of property also applies to private or public pension plans and their accrued amounts during the tenure of the marriage or common-law relationship.

Why you should hire a divorce lawyer to oversee pension divisions

While the division of property, assets and pension plans are legally governed during the dissolution of relationships – these matters are generally highly contentious topics during legal proceedings and it’s best to have a third party overseeing your legal rights when these types of situations occur.

There are many factors, calculations and provisions that the Courts and lawyers refer to when it comes to property division which are not outlined in this article. Primarily because, each legal situation is unique from one another and in order to get a comprehensive understanding of what your rights are and pension division will look like– it is best to speak with a divorce lawyer so he/she can inform you of your rights taking into account a variety of other factors such as who gets child custody, who is economically and financially more stable, who’s getting what in the divorce, etc.

At Verhaeghe Law – our Edmonton divorce lawyers have assisted many divorcing/separating couples who are embattled in pension division discrepancies or differences. If you can relate to this situation – we recommend you contact our legal team today for a consultation on how our lawyers can help you and your spouse find common ground on the division of your pensions.

Common-law relationships and pension division

In 2018, Bill 28 was recently introduced for the first time on how common-law couples in Alberta must divide property when a dissolution of the relationship occurs. Bill 28 amends the Matrimonial Property Act in Alberta and refers to common-law partners as adult interdependent partners giving common-law partners similar legal obligations and rights that married couples face when applying for divorce. For example, in 2018 in Lubianesky vs Gazdag - a common-law couple were able to divide their employment pensions under the same rules that married couples could. Prior to this there was no caselaw or precedent governing pension division amongst common-law couples when breakdowns occur. If you are involved in a common-law relationship and are about to separate – we recommend you contact a divorce lawyer who practices in Alberta because there are legal situations where your pension can be affected. Each legal situation is unique from one another – so we recommend you hire a lawyer to help you oversee matters in this situation.

Marriage breakdowns and pension division

For married couples who are about to separate and/or divorce – pensions are and have always been considered matrimonial property. If couples are about to separate and/or divorce - a value of each spouses’ pension will be determined. Each spouse or partner’s share is limited to 50% of the value of the benefits that were earned during the period of joint accrual. Pension entitlement is then determined and allocated accordingly. Whether you are in a common-law relationship or a marriage that is about to break down – we encourage you to hire legal counsel to oversee the division of assets including the division of pension during a divorce proceeding. As is the case in most contested divorces – there are arguments that can be made to protect your pension based on the circumstances of your relationship breakdown as well as other factors.

Contact our divorce lawyers if you need help with pension division during divorce

If you are about to divorce, separate or dissolve your relationship with your significant other – we encourage you take measures to protect your rights and speak with a divorce lawyer. At Verhaeghe Law Office – our Edmonton family lawyers have experience overseeing pension division in divorce proceedings or when common-law relationships break down. We can help navigate you through your divorce proceedings and relationship breakdown and work towards an expeditious resolve on issues surrounding your pension division. Contact us for a consultation today by calling 587-410-2500 and speak directly with one of our Edmonton divorce lawyers.

*Please note the content in this blog does not constitute legal advice as every case is unique from one another. Child support calculations are best supported by legal advice based on your specific circumstances. This blog offers a general overview and does not constitute legal advice. We encourage you to seek legal advice for answers related to your divorce and/or family law questions.

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