Method of partition

The procedure to follow for partition depends on whether it is a joint application. A joint application is one that has been signed by both spouses.

An application signed by only one spouse, even if it is accompanied with an agreement signed by both spouses that was confirmed in a judgment, is nota joint application.

In all cases, it is only when the plan administrator has a complete application (that is that it has all the required documents, with the exception of the option for a transfer instrument) that the administrator can, as applicable, send a notice or carry out a transfer in accordance with the rules regarding the locking-in of benefits.

Unilateral (not joint) application

The administrator must send the applicant's former spouse a notice informing him or her of the application received and the amount claimed.

The notice must be sent as quickly as possible under the circumstances.

Example

A judgment provides that the former spouse will receive half the value of the benefits accrued during the marriage. The plan is a defined-benefit plan and its value has not previously been calculated since no application for a Statement of Benefits has ever been filed.

Since the notice must indicate the value of the benefits accrued during the marriage, the administrator must first calculate that value. In such a case, the notice cannot be sent as quickly as it could have been if a Statement had previously been issued.

The former spouse who receives a notice has 60 days after the notice is sent to contest the application for partition in court. To do so, the former spouse must be able to present valid grounds.

If an application is contested in court, the administrator cannot carry out partition and must wait until a decision is rendered. Otherwise, the administrator can carry out partition upon expiry of the 60-day deadline. A simple written objection or formal demand addressed to the administrator is not sufficient to prevent partition from being carried out.

Joint application

In the case of a joint application, the administrator can immediately carry out partition and make the transfer.

Deadlines

The administrator has 60 days to carry out a transfer in accordance with the rules regarding the locking-in of benefits. That delay begins, in the case of a unilateral application, 60 days after of the notice is sent. In the case of a joint application, the delay begins to run upon receipt of the application.

However, if the spouse does not promptly inform the administrator which transfer vehicle he or she has chosen and does not sent the required tax forms, it may not be possible for the administrator to meet the deadline. Furthermore, once the time allotted has expired, interest will cease to accrue.

Legal references

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