What Is A Legal Separation?

Legal Separation is a deed that acknowledges that you are no longer legally bound to your spouse. As a married couple or a couple living under common law, you are considered separated, if you are living, ‘separate and apart’, from your partner.

Separation occurs when you are no longer living together as a married or live-in couple. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you are living in a different house than your partner although more often than not, it is the standard case. If you are considering getting a legal separation, here are a few things to keep in mind before you take further steps:

Separation For Married Couples

An important element to note about getting a separation is that, there is nothing called filing for a ‘Legal Separation.’ The separation starts as soon as you stop acting as a married couple. This means – not living under the same roof, sharing the same bed and sharing common activities such as meals that couples usually do.

There are two things married couples need to keep in mind:

  • You don’t need to get a court order to get separated. However, you can get a court order to clear issues like child custody, allocation of assets, spousal support etc.
  • There is no time limit for separation. Divorce will not occur automatically if you stay separated for any amount of time. A couple can stay separated for as long as they want and they only need to file for divorce if one partner wants to get married.

Separation For Couples Living Under The Common Law

Issues of separation fall under Family Law. If you are living together in a ‘marriage-like’ relationship, then you can file for a separation under the same. Whether the circumstances of your living arrangement fall under Common Law relationship or not, it is determined by the court. Usually, if you have been living together for more than two years, you can apply for a legal separation.

One Year Separation Period

If you want to use separation as grounds for getting a divorce, then an amount of time equal to a year is considered mandatory by the law. Unless, your divorce is filed under the grounds of adultery or cruelty, then the period is not obligatory.

This year is to provide couples a chance to fix their marriage and work on their differences. The couple can get together once or multiple times during this period, without affecting the terms of separation. However, if a couple gets together for a period of 90 days or more, then the separation time is considered void and they have to apply for it again in order to get a divorce.

The Separation Agreement

A separation agreement under the Canadian Law requires crucial information regarding the allocation of assets, provision of child and spousal support and custody of your children. The document is taken very seriously by the judicial authority and needs to be drafted carefully as it will determine the quality of life for you and your children after your separation. Get legal representation from one of the best in the field. Visit our website to book your appointment.

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