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Property Division: Common Law Couples and Adult Interdependent Partners, Final Report 112


The Alberta Law Reform Institute recommends changes to the law for how common-law couples divide property if their relationship breaks down. This Report also recommends changes to the law for married couples who lived together before marriage and for adult interdependent partners who are not common law couples. Why is Law Reform Needed? 2016 Census data indicates that 320,260 Albertans consider themselves to be in common-law relationships. If common-law couples break up and cannot agree how […]

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FORMAT Publications
FILE FR112.pdf

June 4, 2018

Property Division: Living Together Before Marriage, Report 31


It is not uncommon for couples to live together before getting married. In some cases, they will acquire significant property, such as a home, furniture and a vehicle. While the Matrimonial Property Act [MPA] applies a presumption of equal division to property acquired during the marriage, it exempts the property acquired before the marriage. Consequently, the original value of that property is not divided on separation or divorce; only the increase in value of that property, from […]

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FORMAT Publications
FILE RFD31.pdf

October 31, 2017

Property Division: Common Law Couples and Adult Interdependent Partners, Report 30


In recent decades, it has become increasingly common for couples to live together without being legally married. Couples who live together in a marriage-like relationship without being legally married are often said to be living in a common-law relationship. In Alberta, there are no legislated rules for property division upon the breakdown of a common-law relationship. The Matrimonial Property Act applies only to married spouses. Property division for common-law partners is based on legal ownership and the […]

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FILE RFD30.pdf

September 30, 2017

2017 Alberta Cohabitation Survey Results


In conjunction with its project on property division for common law couples and adult interdependent partners, ALRI partnered with the Population Research Lab at the University of Alberta to carry out a survey of Albertans’ attitudes and expectations towards cohabitation and property division. The survey resulted in 1,200 responses and helped guide the recommendations in Report for Discussion 30 – Property Division for Common Law Couples and Adult Interdependent Partners. Donna Fong, Rosanna Shih, and Dr. […]

AREA OF LAW Family Law Marriage & Divorce
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FORMAT Other
FILE AB_cohab_survey_results.pdf

September 8, 2017

2017 Alberta Cohabitation Survey Results


In conjunction with its project on property division for common law couples and adult interdependent partners, ALRI partnered with the Population Research Lab at the University of Alberta to carry out a survey of Albertans’ attitudes and expectations towards cohabitation and property division. The survey resulted in 1,200 responses and helped guide the recommendations in Report for Discussion 30 – Property Division for Common Law Couples and Adult Interdependent Partners. Donna Fong, Rosanna Shih, and Dr. […]

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FORMAT Other
FILE AB_cohab_survey_results.pdf

September 3, 2017

Matrimonial Property Act: Valuation Date, Final Report 107


Currently, Alberta’s Matrimonial Property Act [MPA] requires matrimonial property to be valued at the date of trial. This is in direct opposition to many other matrimonial property statutes across Canada, which have opted to use the date of separation as the default valuation date. An Alberta case law review indicates that valuation date is one of the most problematic areas under the MPA, with valuation at trial reducing the chances of settlement and leading to […]

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FORMAT Publications
FILE FR107.pdf

September 1, 2015

Matrimonial Property Act: Valuation Date, Report for Discussion 25


The Matrimonial Property Act was enacted in 1978 and provides a method of sharing matrimonial property between spouses on marriage breakdown. What property is available for sharing and how is it valued? Since 2005, the law applied by the courts is that the property must be valued at trial. In reviewing Alberta cases since 2009, this date is problematic. It is an uncertain future date, assumes spouses will litigate to trial, and discourages earlier party driven settlements. […]

AREA OF LAW Family Law Marriage & Divorce
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FORMAT Publications
FILE RFD25_hyperlinks.pdf

November 2, 2014

The Matrimonial Property Act: A Case Law Review


The Alberta Law Reform Institute proposed the legislation that became the Matrimonial Property Act (MPA) more than 30 years ago and there has been no substantive amendment to the MPA since then. ALRI has received suggestions that the legislation is in need of revision but there was little consensus as to which areas were in need of review. In order to advance the research, ALRI financed the work of Annie Voss-Altman, a student at the […]

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FORMAT Publications
FILE RP-MPA-Case-Law.pdf

October 8, 2010

Effect of Divorce on Wills, Final Report 72


In Alberta, divorce has no effect on a will made during marriage. If a person has made a will that leaves everything to their spouse, the will is not automatically revoked or otherwise affected by a subsequent divorce. If the person who made the will dies without changing their will or remarrying, everything would go to their former spouse in accordance with the pre-divorce will. In many Canadian and foreign jurisdictions the result would be […]

AREA OF LAW Wills and Succession Family Law Marriage & Divorce
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FORMAT Publications
FILE fr072.pdf

November 1, 1994

Division of Canada Pension Plan Credits in Alberta, Final Report 58


The Canada Pension Plan Act, RSC 1985, c C-8, as amended in 1987, allowed that on the appropriate minister being informed of a divorce, the total Canada Pension Plan (“CPP”) credits accumulated by both spouses through the course of the marriage would be split evenly between both ex-spouses. These amendments reflected a desire to protect women who, because of their unpaid contributions within the home, had historically suffered greater poverty in retirement than men. However, […]

AREA OF LAW Family Law Marriage & Divorce
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FORMAT Publications
FILE fr058.pdf

November 1, 1990