April 30, 2018

Pension Investments Can Be Divided On Divorce Or Separation: Alberta Property Division Agreements Are For All Spouses (Common Law, Too!)

In Alberta, all spouses (married or common law) are able to make a valid property division agreement to divide employment pensions, upon separation.

Recently, in the Lubianesky v Gazdag case, Walsh LLP successfully argued that the Employment Pension Plans Act in Alberta unlawfully failed to allow unmarried spouses to make such agreements.

The Court agreed and changed the statute, by “reading-in” this important right.

Can I receive or bargain a split of my spouse’s employment pension?

The result of this important decision is that all common law couples can divide their employment pension, under the same rules that married couples can.

The Court agreed with Walsh LLP that this is a Charter right under s. 15 of the Charter, which requires that laws treat people equally (e.g. married spouses are to be treated similarly to unmarried spouses, and are able to make pension division agreements).

How can I get started?

If you are divorcing or separating, we strongly encourage you to take proactive steps to protect your rights. This will avoid substantial financial costs or loses later, and will best position you to receive a fair deal.

Walsh LLP’s Family Law professionals are here to support you with all your family, divorce, or separation law needs, whether to advise you on specifics of the relationship, mediate issues that arise, or to help you draft agreement documents, or to assist you in resolving a family litigation matter. Call us today to discuss your needs!