A common issue that arises following a breakup is how the former couple will divide up their property and assets. The law aims to distribute assets as fairly as possible, however, there is no universal method that is applied to each case.
The main considerations pertaining to property and asset division are:
Equalization of Net Family Property
This principle aims to ensure that each partner shares in the accumulation of wealth during the marriage, so that one party is not left with an unfair disadvantage. During the process of an equalization, each spouse’s property value is determined by taking their assets (which may include gifts, inheritances, pre-marital property, benefits, vehicles, houses, etc.) and subtracting their debts.
Each spouse’s property value is determined up to what is called the ‘valuation date’, which is generally the date on which the spouses separated and there was no reasonable chance that they would resume cohabitation. There are several factors to be considered when determining the valuation date, including the absence of intimate relations, whether physical separation transpired, and in what way the spouses continued to interact – if at all.
Assets at the Date of Marriage
The net assets that each spouse brought into the marriage is calculated. The value of a matrimonial home is typically not included if it was owned at the time of marriage.
After completing the above two calculations, each spouse’s lower net family property is subtracted from the higher one, with the difference being divided in half. The resulting figure is generally the amount of the equalization payment that would be paid by the spouse with the higher net family property value.
What seems like a simple way to calculate property and asset division in family law may ultimately prove to be complex. Disputes often arise between the parties as to whether each party has openly disclosed their assets and liabilities, whether certain items should be considered assets (i.e. a future pension benefit, life insurance, etc.), and what valuation date should be chosen.
It is imperative to obtain the advice of a family law lawyer when dealing with property and asset division to ensure that spouses are fairly compensated as part of an equalization and that the paying spouse is not paying any more than what he or she ought to pay. Contact Kamalie Law for your free consultation.
A breach of contract happens when one party under the contract fails to fulfill their obligations – either partially, or fully. This means that someone (a person or a corporation) either did something that they were not supposed to do or did not do something that they were supposed to do. Their conduct has shown that they are not honouring the contract.
While this is a broad definition, there are multiple types of breach of contract and multiple ways that a breach of contract can be resolved. While we may naturally think of one party simply failing to pay or someone failing to deliver goods or services, there are multiple different parts of a contract that can be breached, and the remedies may be different in different situations.
There are two main remedies that litigants seek and are awarded in a breach of contract lawsuit.
An award of damages is one of the most well-known remedies. The innocent party may seek all out-of-pocket expenses and unquantified damages (i.e., loss of business, reputational losses, etc.) that it has suffered as a result of the defaulting party. However, the question of what damages may be claimed and awarded is not always met with a simple answer. Although most damages suffered can be claimed, courts will often exclude damage that it considers to be ‘remote’, or which was not a ‘reasonably foreseeable’ consequence of the breach of contract.
Another remedy is called specific performance, which is a court declaration requiring a contracting party to fulfill its contractual obligations. This remedy is typically only granted when courts determine that damages are an inadequate remedy. It must be noted, however, that a declaration for specific performance does not actually force a party to fulfill their contractual obligations. In other words, although a court may award specific performance, the defaulting party may choose to ignore the order and to continue acting in breach of contract. In such situations, the innocent party may proceed to seek damages and may seek an order that the defaulting party is in contempt of court.
At Kamalie Law, our lawyers have extensive experience in litigating and resolving contract disputes. We have represented both the innocent party that wishes to commence a claim as well as the party who is alleged to be in breach of contract and is forced to defend a claim. In each scenario, our primary objective is to determine our client’s objectives and to formulate a strategy that will achieve that objective in the least time possible.