Reader Question:Do I Have To Share My RRSP With My Spouse When I Get Divorced?

Another reader of the Canadian Budget Binder blog asked the question, “Do I have to Share my RRSP with my Spouse When I get Divorced”? In Ontario there is the Family Law Act. In simple terms all property acquired after the date of marriage, up until the time of marriage breakdown is deemed to be the property of both parties. The ownership of the property is not a factor. So in short each person is entitled to 50% of the total family property. There are certain exceptions like the family home that was brought into the relationship or received as a gift or inheritance. However to keep things simple we will ignore this. RRSP’s, Stocks, Bonds, Pensions, are all subject to being included under Family Law. So if one spouse had a significant RRSP and the other nothing then the spouse with nothing would be entitled to 50% of the spouse’s RRSP. Note: the courts adjust the value of the RRSP down, by the amount of withholding tax that would be payable if the RRSP were cashed in. So the figure used is less than fair market value of the RRSP. To understand this fully the courts ask each person […]