Matrimonial Property Exemptions & Onus of Proof

In the recent case, Rehman v Sadouzai, 2020 ABQB 623, the Plaintiff sought an exemption for a higher amount of the documented sale proceeds, which he claimed was exempt family property in Pakistan. The evidence submitted was deemed to be insufficient and conflicting. This finding is important as it confirms the law that, on the balance of probabilities, the person seeking an exemption of matrimonial property has the onus to prove the value of exempt property and, generally, be able to account for and trace the proceeds of sale for that exempt property.

The Plaintiff also submitted that he should be entitled to an unequal share of the property, arguing that the Defendant did not contribute overall as much as he did to the marriage. The Honourable Madam Justice S. E. Richardson commented that this was an archaic notion and that property should be divided equally.

For those who are interested, the full case can be found here:

Ronald S. Foster, Q.C. 

Senior Counsel

Family Law Solutions

Foster Dickson O’Brien

1400, 350 7th Avenue SW

Calgary Alberta T2P 3N9

T 587 315 6491



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