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Debra, Lawyer
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What are the laws regarding divorce financial settlements in

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What are the laws regarding divorce financial settlements in 2013 with regard to inherited money in 2002? (Calgary divorce proceedings)
Thank you for your question.

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In Alberta inheritances are exempt from being treated as family assets.

So if you inherited this money in 2002 and you were already married the only time the asset would be shared is if it was commingled in some way with family assets.

If you kept the money separate or bought separate items/property/assets with the money and the money can easily be traced and these assets were not used for family purposes then the money will not be shared.

Let me know if you need any further clarification.
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Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you for the answer so far. But there is a key word in your answer that needs to be defined - and that is the word "co-mingled". What does that mean, how is that defined legally?

In the case in question, my parents-in-law are getting divorced after 60 (yes, sixty) years of marriage. Money ($500k) was inherited by 'father-in-law' during year 49 of the marriage (it is now year 60). The inherited money went into a joint bank account with both names on the account. However, it was kept separate as GIC's/etc. Some of it (maybe 10%) may have been used towards the purchase of a retirement condo, but most of it remained as GICs (in that joint account). The father in law is now claiming that the entire $500k inherited money should be kept completely separate from the 50-50% split that mother-in-law is seeking from all funds (including the $500k inheritance) ...

... in this situation, can you tell whether the $500k is 'co-mingled' or not?

Much appreciated

Dr. Paul Nicholson

It's really not clear but I would guess that the if the GICs were just in the husband's name all along a Court would agree that he kept this separate and would not have to share it.

There is no real certainty in family law as you may know.

So I cannot be sure but I think because he kept it separate he is going to succeed in having it exempt.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I think the mother-in-law has a strong case in her favor because the GICs were held (and are still held) in a joint account - that shows original intent to 'share' the GIC's, IMO (but I am not a lawyer).


Thank you again. I will pay the fee now ;-)


Much appreciated

Paul Nicholson

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