When two people get married, their intentions are generally to stay together forever – for richer or poorer, in sickness and health, for better or for worse (or any other form of these vows important to the couple). It’s a wonderful sentiment and a positive approach to relationships, but as we all know, unforeseen situations can happen and things don’t always1 work out as planned. On average, over 8000 couples get divorced each year in Alberta alone. Naturally, this is not the outcome that any couple desires, but oftentimes, it is a responsible decision made with mutual respect.
When things become complicated in a divorce, it’s often because of financial issues such support payments, the division of shared funds, or issues pertaining to property ownership and chattels. The latter can be particularly complicated if referring to gifted items, which often come from parents or other family members. So what happens when a gift is given and received during marriage, and then the couple divorces? Let’s review some rules relating to family, marriage, gifts and the matrimonial home.