Because many separating couples own property, realtors and mortgage brokers often face family law-related issues in their business dealings. With this in mind, Connect recently hosted a lunch and learn for a group of real estate professionals to answer their family law questions and debunk three common myths related to the division of property.
Myth #1: A certificate of pending litigation (CPL) will affect the sale of a home.
As Mahshid Hoseini explained, a CPL can be removed in certain circumstances. A CPL is a charge registered against title to land that gives prospective purchasers notice that someone has started a lawsuit claiming ownership of the property. If a separating or divorcing spouse has started family law proceedings in BC, either spouse can register a CPL against any real property that they own. Not surprisingly, buyers typically do not want to purchase property that is subject to a CPL. Luckily, depending on your situation, you may be able to remove a CPL so that you can sell your property before your family law issues are resolved.
Myth #2: Shared parenting means neither parent pays child support.
Kaity Cooper clarified that this is not necessarily the case. The law in this area can actually be somewhat complicated, as a court will consider all the facts and use its discretion to calculate the appropriate amount of child support in each case where parents share parenting roughly equally. In her discussion, Kaity also addressed the different situations in which a spouse can be entitled to spousal support.
Why are the rules on child and spousal support relevant to real estate professionals? A person’s support obligations will affect their net disposable income, which in turn may affect their ability to obtain financing for the purchase of property.
Myth #3: Family property is valued at the date of separation.
In fact, under the BC Family Law Act, family property is valued at the date of settlement or the date of trial, not the date of separation. As Leisha Murphy explained, if separating spouses are involved in family law litigation and their house is being sold in the process, for the purpose of dividing family property, the house will be valued at the date their trial takes place rather than the date they separated. The court also has the ability to compensate a spouse who has lived in the family home without the other spouse and paid for the maintenance and upkeep of the home for a prolonged period of time. Whether the court will do so will depend on the facts in each case..
The luncheon also afforded Connect lawyers the opportunity to learn from our diverse group of guests, who shared their own experiences, particularly with respect to multiple listing contracts in real estate and mortgage rules around self-employed individuals. We thank all our guests for participating in this dynamic and informative gathering, and look forward to our next Lunch and Learn event, coming soon…