Transfers upon breakdown of marriage or common-law partnership

When there is a breakdown in a marriage or common-law partnership, an amount can be transferred directly from one individual's TFSA to the other's TFSA without affecting either individual's contribution room. The transfer must be completed directly between the TFSAs by the issuer.

If you are in this situation you must meet both of the following conditions:

  • you and your current or former spouse or common-law partner were living separate and apart at the time of the transfer
  • you are entitled to receive, or required to pay, the amount under a decree, order, or judgment of a court, or under a written separation agreement to settle rights arising out of your relationship on or after the breakdown of your relationship

When these conditions are met, the transfer is a qualifying transfer and will not reduce the recipient's eligible TFSA contribution room. Since this transfer is not considered a withdrawal, the transferred amount will not be added back to the transferor's contribution room at the beginning of the following year.

Also, the transfer will not remove any excess TFSA amount, if applicable, in the payer's TFSA.


If, instead of choosing to have the amount directly transferred, an individual chooses to receive the settlement amount before deciding to contribute part or all of it to their own TFSA, then any such contribution is considered as a regular contribution that reduces the balance of their TFSA contribution room.

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