In the context of divorce and separation, family assets are called “family property” and “family debts”.
This arena has distinct areas that must be addressed.
First, what are the family assets and debts? Second, what are the values (or balances) of each asset or debt at the time of the separation agreement or trial? Third, is there any reason a different date should be used to value the asset or debt? Fourth, is there any reason the assets and debts should not be shared equally? Finally, how (and sometimes when) should the assets and debts be distributed? For this aspect to move smoothly, both parties must take document and information disclosure very seriously and provide all relevant information to each other. If the documents and the parties’ own knowledge does not provide an accurate picture of the value of an asset, an expert may need to be retained to provide an opinion on the value, and this opinion will be considered by the court. The most common family property is real estate, RRSPs and other investments, shares, pensions, and trusts. The most common family debts are mortgages, lines of credit, personal loans, and credit card debts.