Financial Matters Overview

Superficially, financial matters in a divorce are presented in a fairly simple way. In principle, after separation, the financial net worth of each spouse is calculated and the net family property is then equalized, or “split down the middle”. The spouse with more assets in his or her name pays the spouse with fewer assets half of the difference between their assets. Both partners leave the marriage as equal partners in terms of property. Or seemingly so.

In practice, it is seldom that straightforward, especially when there are multifarious property issues, for example:

  • Multiple homes or vacation properties
  • Significant investments, in Canada or beyond
  • Stockholder agreements
  • Large debts, known or unknown
  • Significant pensions, sometimes situated internationally
  • Business interests

There are also a wide range of exceptions to the “split down the middle” approach. If the marriage has been short, that may impact outcome. Other matters such as inheritances or “gifts” received during the marriage, or litigation proceeds, are likely exempt from sharing. Similarly, property owned prior to a marriage – these can all be exceptions or “exemptions” to the law and may complicate matters considerably (even the cost to “prove” them as such).

Another issue more frequently arising lately is the hiding or failing to disclose assets, or assets spent during the marriage on extramarital affairs or gambling, as but two examples, that cause significant complications and result in increased litigation costs.


At GDE FAMILY LAW, we have the necessary expertise to assist you with complex asset matters. Particularly when it comes to business valuations and convoluted investments and pensions – our Property Division Lawyers in Calgary can help navigate the sometimes confusing process of dividing your assets with your spouse.

With GDE FAMILY LAW, we help you come to a clear, objective evaluation, one free of emotion, so that you can emerge with your rights and property protected in the final divorce settlement. If there are complicated matters, such as a jointly owned business, we can help you detach your business affairs from one another. We can assist you to work out how to both maintain your ties to businesses or property, if necessary. Whatever the desired outcome you wish, we will work together, in helping you come to creative solutions – rather than having a Court impose a solution on you.


GDE FAMILY LAW can help make your division of property understandable and fair. Contact GDE FAMILY LAW at 403-475-9525 for more information on one of the most important areas of your separation and divorce.