Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Alberta Law Reform Institute Report on Property Division Rules for Common-law Couples

The Alberta Law Reform Institute (ALRI) has published a report on Property Division: Common-law Couples and Adult Interdependent Partners:
"Couples should be free to make their own agreements regarding ownership and division of property. ALRI recommends that legislation should allow common law couples to make their own agreements. ALRI further recommends that agreements should be subject to specific requirements in order to be enforceable. Those requirements, which include independent legal advice, are intended to make sure that each common law partner is aware of their potential claims to property and the nature and effect of the agreement, and that each partner is entering the agreement freely and voluntarily."

"An agreement that does not satisfy these safeguards is not enforceable but may be considered by the Court in an application by one or both partners to divide property."

"If a couple does not make their own agreement or their agreement is not enforceable, ALRI recommends that there should be default rules to govern the division of property."

"Legislated default rules for property division should apply to couples who are adult interdependent partners under the Adult Interdependent Relationships Act. The criteria in the Act consider whether the couple are interdependent economically, domestically and socially. Couples also have to live together for a specified qualifying period, although they may shorten or eliminate the qualifying period by making a written agreement. Short term or casual relationships would not trigger the property division rules."

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 5:45 pm


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