No. Often, it takes time before a couple can finalize a property division and one spouse will live in the family home while the other moves somewhere else. Alberta’s Matrimonial Property Act (MPA) starts with a presumption that the property of married couples is to be divided 50/50 when they separate. This 50/50 split will likely, depending on the specific circumstances, cover the value of the house regardless of who is living in it.

Sometimes a couple will disagree about who should continue to live in the family home; if an agreement cannot be reached, either spouse can apply for an order for exclusive possession of the family home which sets out who is allowed to live there.  This does not affect either spouse’s entitlement to a portion of the value of the house. During the period when a couple is separated but they have not finally divided their property, they will have to agree, or get a court order, about who will cover the costs of maintaining the home.  


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