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Spousal Separation Severs Joint Tenancy

Spousal Separation Severs Joint Tenancy

The estate of Eleanor Maureen Cook 2019 BCSC 417 confirmed that pursuant to S. 81 Family Law act a joint tenancy asset owned by spouses is severed into a tenancy in common as of the date that they separate.

Pursuant to S. 83 Family Law act they are not considered to have separated  if within one year of separation they being living together again and the primary purpose for doing so is to reconcile and they continue to live together for one or more periods totalling at least 90 days.

Equal entitlement and responsibility

81 Subject to an agreement or order that provides otherwise and except as set out in this Part and Part 6 

(a)spouses are both entitled to family property and responsible for family debt, regardless of their respective use or contribution, and

(b)on separation, each spouse has a right to an undivided half interest in all family property as a tenant in common, and is equally responsible for family debt.

Division 2 — Determining Family Property and Family Debt

83 (1)For the purposes of this Part, spouses are not considered to have separated if, within one year after separation,

(a)they begin to live together again and the primary purpose for doing so is to reconcile, and

(b)they continue to live together for one or more periods, totalling at least 90 days.

(2)Nothing in this Part affects a division of property under an agreement or order in a circumstance where, after the agreement or order was made, spouses live together and then separate again.

(3)For the purposes of this Part, property received by a spouse from a trust in respect of the spouse’s beneficial interest in property held in the trust must be considered to be property derived from that beneficial interest.

(4)In this Part, “property” includes a beneficial interest in property unless a contrary intention appears.

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