The separation process in Ontario is quite simple; it only requires one partner in a relationship willing to live separate and apart from their partner. Separation means you have decided to end your marriage or common-law relationship, or you are behaving in a way that suggests you want to end your relationship. Only one partner has to want separation for legal separation to be granted. Unlike the divorce process in Ontario, separation does not require you to go through a formal process of filing documents.
Procedure for Becoming Legally Separated
No procedure is required to become legally separated in Ontario. Legal separation is for couples who are unwilling to continue their marriage but are not ready to divorce yet. This option can be a prelude to divorce and is available to all married couples.
Married couples cease to live together as spouses after legal separation. Although you do not have to go through a procedure to become legally separated in Ontario, the process is not always as simple as it sounds. Spouses may want to take specific steps to become legally separated and avoid serious complications in the future. It is essential to resolve a few issues during a divorce and separation in Ontario, including:
- Responsibility for marital property, finances, and debts
- Child custody
- Parenting plans
Legal separation is the most suitable option for couples that have decided to take some time apart. However, it is essential to seek professional help if you want your legal separation to be civil and mutually beneficial.
The professional can help you understand your rights and responsibilities after the separation and draft a legal separation document to reflect all parties’ interests. The primary role of the legal separation agreement is to help spouses decide the next steps to take.
Legal Separation Application
Legal separation occurs when one or both partners in a marital relationship decide to live separate and apart. This process does not have to end in divorce, though; it is an ongoing process that may change at any point should the couple decide to do so. A legal separation is an excellent option for couples who want some time apart but are not ready for divorce.
Legal separation does not have a specific process for it to be considered legally binding; in fact, couples do not need to agree if they want legal separation. Only one party can decide to have a legal separation for the separation to be valid.
Despite the simplicity of becoming legally separated in Ontario, the process has some legal implications. For starters, a legal separation may preclude a divorce. Couples seeking a divorce in Ontario must show reasons why they want to be divorced. Being legally separated for at least a year can be a valid reason for divorce. In addition, legal separation helps couples to track the time they have been living separate and apart. The couples must prove that they were living separately and apart during the period under review.
Some of the factors courts review to determine if a couple was legally separated include whether they:
- Ate meals together
- Shared a bedroom
- Shared chores
- Have sexual relations
- Continue to live together
- Attend events as a couple
It is essential to talk to a legal professional to answer common questions such as how I can get a divorce in Ontario or my rights if I get separated or divorced?
For more information about divorce or separation mediation, please contact Positive Solutions Divorce Services for a free consultation with our online mediation specialists for separating couples in Ontario: 888-779-8777.
Toronto ON M5X 1C7