Valuation of property

Important Notice

Please consult Newsletter number 32, Amendments to the Regulation respecting supplemental pension plans effective 4 January 2018, as well as division V – Transfer of benefits between spouses This link will open in a new window. of the Regulation respecting supplemental pension plans, to find out the rules for partition applicable to spouses in a civil union, the changes to the payment methods applicable to the former spouse, and the calculation of member benefits after partition.

The valuation of property is an accounting operation which consists of determining the financial claim of one spouse against the other.

The valuation of married spouses' property must be carried out as at a specific date, that is, the date of institution of the action for divorce, separation from bed and board or civil annulment of marriage, or the date of the end of the conjugal relationship.

Date of institution of the action

The date of institution of the action is the date on which the application is filed with the Clerk of Court. The date is generally stamped on the application at the time it is filed.

The basic rule requires the valuation to be made as at that date. However, at the request of one of the spouses and with the agreement of the judge, the valuation may be made as at the date of the end of the conjugal relationship.

Family mediation

One of the purposes of family mediation is to reach an agreement on the partition of property. Mediation generally takes place before the institution of the action. In such a case, the spouses must agree to the valuation of property as at the date of the end of the conjugal relationship, as well as agree on that date.

Ownership rights

Any property that is part of the "mass for partition" does not automatically belong to both spouses. Thus, even if the pension plan is part of the family patrimony, half of it does not belong to the member's spouse. The ownership rights of property do not change during the valuation.

Generally, it is the value of the benefits accumulated during the marriage that is part of the mass for partition.

Applicable valuation rules

The Civil Code provides that, for the purposes of family patrimony, no one may contravene the rules of valuation provided for in specific laws, such as the Supplemental Pension Plans Act.

Moreover, once the financial claim has been determined, in accordance with the provisions of the Civil Code and specific laws, the spouses can agree to the payment of a different amount. The judge may also decide, under certain circumstances, that the amount to be transferred to the other spouse will be different than the financial claim previously calculated.

Thus, in specific situations, the spouses cannot demand a different method of valuation, but they can request the payment of an amount different from that resulting from the valuation.

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