Family property is the value of the net property accumulated during the relationship and its increase in value.
The Family Law Act provides that this property can only be divided if the parties were married. This is referred to as “equalization of net family property.” Unmarried couples do not have a de facto right to share in the property of their partners.
That said, depending on the circumstances of an unmarried couple’s relationship, any property may be divided based on the right of equity rather than the provisions of the Family Law Act.
The law of equity, and the principle of unjust enrichment, provide that one party should not unduly become enriched at the expense of the other. In circumstances where one party unfairly benefited from the union, the court will look to the right, the wrong.