Separation

Separation means that you and/or your spouse has decided that your relationship has come to an end. 

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How Do I Get A Legal Separation?

People often ask how to get a legal separation.  To become separated, you should to tell your spouse that your relationship is over.  There is no documentation required to become separated; however, if there is nothing in writing regarding your separation, it may be difficult to prove when your separation occurred.

Factors That Determine Legal Separation

Many different factors may be relevant to determining when you separated, such as:

  • When you began sleeping in different rooms
  • When you intended your relationship to come to an end
  • When you stopped having sexual relations
  • When you stopped having meals together
  • Whether you stopped communicating with each other
  • When you stopped helping each other when one of you was ill
  • When you stopped making major decisions together
  • When you stopped purchasing gifts for each other
  • When you stopped introducing each other as spouses
  • When your friends, family members, or co-workers viewed you as separated
  • When you stopped attending social events together
  • When you stopped doing chores for each other
  • When you stopped gong on vacations together
  • Whether you listed yourself as "separated" on your Income Tax Returns, and
  • Whether you began separating your finances.
     

These are just some of the factors relevant to determining when you separated.  Some of these factors may be relevant to your separation, while others may not.  Every relationship is different. 

For example, if you and your spouse rarely attended social events together during your relationship. Then this may not be relevant to determining when you separated.  However, if you and your spouse often socialized together during your relationship, then no longer doing so may be an important factor in determining when you separated.

Simply telling your spouse that your relationship has come to and end may not be enough to prove that you are separated if you continue to act like a couple after you do so. 

For example, if you tell your spouse that your relationship has ended, but you continue to tell your friends and family members that you are together, you continue to introduce your spouse as your partner/husband/wife or any similar title, and you continue to do each other’s laundry and cook meals for each other, then a court (and your spouse) may conclude that your conversation about the end of the relationship did not trigger a separation.

Determining when you separated can be even more difficult if you and your spouse attempt to get back together after you separate.  Depending on how long the two of you attempt reconciliation, your original separation date may no longer apply.  If you and your spouse broke up and got back together often, you may have to count the days between each break up to determine when you separated.

Determining when you separated can be very simple.  However, if you and your spouse cannot agree on your separation date, it can be very difficult to determine when the two of you separated, especially if there in nothing in writing about your break up.  If you are unsure about when you and your spouse separated, you should speak with a Family Law lawyer about this issue. 

If you wish to speak to one of our family lawyers or book a free consultation please call:  (905) 237-5548