Dealing with Property and Debt

The division of property in B.C. is governed by the Family Law Act.

Couples will generally share equally any property that is acquired during their relationship. The property they brought into the relationship is usually excluded, although the increase in value over the course of the relationship can be divided.

If a couple wishes to divide their property or debt differently, they can opt-out of the property and debt division rules by making an agreement.

The rules about how to divide property and debt apply to both:

  • Married couples
  • Unmarried couples who have lived together in a marriage-like relationship for at least two years (These couples are sometimes called common-law couples and are considered spouses under the family law)

Time limit to apply for court order

  • If you were married, you must apply to divide property within two years after you get an order for divorce
  • If you were living in a marriage-like relationship for at least two years, you must apply within two years of the date you separated

We recommend you get legal advice before you make any final decisions about division of property and debt.

For more information, please see Property and debt on the Family Law in BC website.