Family Property Act: Property Division Changes Coming in January 2020

There is new Family Law legislation coming into effect on January 1, 2020, called the Family Property Act. The goal of the new legislation is to allow couples who are not legally married to share in the same property division scheme as married couples.

Those who qualify under the new regime are married couples, and those qualifying as “Adult Interdependent Partners” or “AIPS”. There are many ways in which a couple may qualify as AIPs and the definition can be difficult to interpret.

There are also new limitation dates which are being imposed under the new Act, so the time frame in which one can make a claim is very important. The new Act states that for AIPs, the claimant has two years from the time he/she knew or ought to have known that he/she had become a Former AIP. Again, there are several ways that someone can become a Former AIP.

For those who do not qualify as married partners or AIPs, there may be entitlement under another doctrine called unjust enrichment.

There is a lot of uncertainty around these new laws. If you are in a relationship, either married or otherwise, and separating after January 1, 2020, it is important to speak with a lawyer about your property entitlement and other rights under the new Act.

Feel free to contact Reshma Bhambhani, a Family Law lawyer with KBL Law, to set up a free consultation.

photo of an adult interdependent couple, holding hands, now to have the same rights to property as a common law couple that a married couple would have