In 28 years of practice, we have found property to be one of the most frequent reasons for our clients to go to trial, and almost every trial has involved at least a few issues of property division.
Separating spouses go to trial for many property-related reasons, including questions of who should end up with various assets accumulated during the marriage, issues of hiding property and disputes over vastly different opinions about the value of the assets. If you are a common-law spouse, there may be additional issues of determining interests in property accumulated during the relationship. Going to trial is always exciting for lawyers, and it can result in a lot of money in legal fees. It can also make clients feel like we’re on their side if we’re eager to fight for them. Unfortunately, this eagerness leads some lawyers to become too enthusiastic about it, to their clients’ detriment.
If trial is truly the best or only way for you to get justice, our office will fight for you, especially if there is an emergency situation such as depletion of assets. We will be as passionate and aggressive as you need us to be in court. However, we will make sure that you know what it will cost in terms of expenses, time, effort and all possible risks.
If you are experiencing family difficulties or have suffered from a personal injury, we’re here to help.
Telling Your Story
When it comes to settling your property issues, we will:
- Ensure that all assets that should be considered marital property are counted and any that should be excluded (such as gifts and inheritances) are set aside
- Be thorough in our appraisal of all assets, including the marital home, business interests, RRSPs and debts
- Hire professionals such as tax experts and business valuators to determine the value of your assets
- Make sure that if there are any issues of hiding or devaluing assets, these are taken into account
- Find a way to tell your story at trial, so that the court has sympathy for your position
- Show that we are reasonable, and are willing to compromise and give to the other side, as courts generally strive for reasonableness and the side that is more extreme will have a harder time convincing the court to find in their favour