What do I need to know about making an agreement on property and debt?

You are allowed to make an agreement to opt-out of the rules for equal division of family property and debt in the Family Law Act.

You can make an agreement about what will happen with your property and debt after separation, including making an agreement to:

  • Divide family property or family debt or both
  • Divide property or debt unequally
  • Include property or debt that would not be included under the Family Law Act, and
  • Exclude property or debt that would otherwise be included under the Family Law Act

You can make an agreement about how you will divide your property and debt at any time in your relationship.

If you have a written agreement about division of property or debt and it is signed and witnessed, the court will likely not change it. The court can only make an order different from your agreement in limited circumstances, such as if the agreement:

  • Was unfairly made because, for example, there was a lack of financial disclosure or one person took unfair advantage of the other’s vulnerability, or
  • The agreement is “significantly unfair” taking into account:
    • How long ago the agreement was made
    • The intention of the spouses, and
    • The degree to which the spouses have relied on the agreement