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jlw1973 11-28-2012 07:42 PM

International divorce: Canadian/Australian
I am a Canadian married to an Australian, just over 2 years. Legally married in Vegas, NV. and have been commuting between the two countries since we married. Neither of us has permanent residency in each others country. It has been a long distance marriage since the beginning. I have traveled to Australia between work periods 26 times over the course of 2.5 years and have taken a significant amount of time off work to do so while my husband grew his business and couldn't travel to Canada. He came here 4-5 times.
He is self employed and the company has increased in value 2-3 fold since we have been together. We both had, and still have, separate houses prior to the marriage. And recently acquired another land/house package in Australia. Although I am not on the house purchase agreement nor on the bank loan. He has taken on a lot of debt as well, financing vehicles through his company. Also, we have no children.
My question is:
What are my rights as far as property division goes? Will I recover any loss income or loss of ESP contribution from my husband? Also, do I have an advantage in filing from Canada? I haven't proceeded with a separation agreement yet although technically we have been apart for over a month.
Any advice would be appreciated.

beebie 11-29-2012 12:43 AM

The first question is whose law will govern. It could be whoever files first but all of the mat property sounds like it is in Austrailia.

You maybe should have had a pre nup for this marriage.

Your houses owned prior to marriage are exempt under Alberta law but any increase in value would be shareable.

In Alberta, just because you were not put on title would not mean that you were not entitled to share in the value of the matrimonial he would not be able to sell it without gaining your release from dower. But who knows if Australia has dower rights. You might want to put a caveat on the land title to your home in Australia smartly just to prevent him selling it without fixing your property settlement first.

I would work out a settlement agreement with your spouse getting back everything you lost in damages (airfares, lost work, etc.). You might be entitled to a share of the increase in the value of his business technically but he might argue this given your long distance relationship. Half of the net proceeds if the house were sold.

You had a short marriage so it is really just about property acquired during the marriage or the increase in value of assets owned as of marriage date to date of separation.

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