SEPARATION AND DIVORCE
Life happens. Relationships end. Couples separate. Whatever the reason, if you and your spouse have decided to separate, we can help every step of the way.
Separation is defined as when a couple that has been in a relationship chooses to live independently of each other. A divorce is a court order ending a valid marriage.
Even though there is no specific legal definition of “separation”, it does require a physical separation coupled with recognition by at least one of the spouses that the relationship is at an end. Spouses can continue to live in the same family home during separation so long as they can establish they are living separate and apart despite being under the same roof. Couples often prepare a separation agreement that outlines how they will organize their affairs related to family property, debt, household expenses and parenting arrangements.
1. When should I separate from my spouse?
Separation may be a good option for couples who are not sure if they want to proceed with a divorce or who still wish to benefit from being legally married.
2. How do I obtain a divorce in Ontario?
If you are married, a divorce order is the only way to legally end your marriage. Generally, couples must be separated for one year before a divorce can be granted.
3. What happens to our property in a divorce?
Generally, when spouses separate, the starting point is that all property owned by either of them is treated as “family property”, subject to equal division. This includes not only physical objects, but also money in bank accounts and investments, and family debts.