How Does Legal Separation Work in Ontario?

In Ontario you are considered separated when you are no longer living together and it’s highly unlikely that you will be able to live together again. However, you may still reside under the same roof but be sleeping in separate rooms for financial reasons and under circumstances like this – you may be considered separated too. When couples decide to separate (whether they are married or common-law) important decisions will need to be made on how your property will be divided, how your debts will be paid back, child custody and support if applicable as well as spousal support if applicable. Typically the best way to resolve these issues during the separation process is in the form of a separation agreement.

Can You Be Separated and Still Live Under the Same Roof in Ontario?

As mentioned earlier, there may be certain circumstances that prohibit you from living separate such as financial reasons, chid care reasons, etc. In situations like this the courts will still consider you separated so long as you are not romantically involved, not sleeping in the same room but sleeping separately, maybe vacationing separately and even shopping separately. If both parties can attest to this then you may be considered separated while living under the same roof as you await your divorce to be finalized.

What is a Separation Agreement?

A separation agreement is something your Richmond Hill divorce lawyers can help with. A good separation agreement will contain some of the following elements:

  • Full legal name of each spouse
  • Separation date agreed upon by both parties
  • Address child custody issues such as who the children live with and what will custody arrangements look like. Child support obligations should also be listed here as details on when child support will end as per the laws for child support in Ontario.
  • Address spousal support issues such as whether spousal support payments will be paid and if so, for how long and circumstances that may affect the payment of same.
  • Address property division matters including a clear list that outlines who gets what and if you own joint property – how will the property be sold, who is responsible for it until it is sold, who will live in it until it is sold and how the proceeds from the sale will be divided
  • Outline debts outstanding and who will be paying for what and for how long. It is very important to also outline how debts incurred after separation but before divorce will be handled as well as who pays for legal fees or how those legal fees will be split
  • Outline how pensions, RRSPS, RESPs and other financial investments will be split or paid out.4
  • And more

Read more on separation agreements here in one of our earlier posts on this subject matter.

How does Divorce or Separation Affect Canada Pension Plan (CPP) Contributions?

Canada Pension Plan (CPP) credits that you and your spouse may have acquired during the tenure of your relationship can be summed up and split between the both of you. This process is commonly referred to as credit splitting and applies to both common-law partners and married couples. Contact our divorce lawyers for more information on the dos and don’ts of separation in Ontario.

Contact our Richmond Hill Divorce Lawyers Today For Legal Assistance on Separation Matters

If you are in need of legal assistance regarding a separation – contact our divorce lawyers today to ensure that not only your legal rights are protected but that your best interests are also protected. You can schedule a consultation with one of our Richmond Hill divorce lawyers by dialing 905-884-9242. Contact us today.

Disclaimer: Please note the content in this article is not to be substituted for legal advice. It is intended to act as a general overview on legal separation in Ontario. For more specific legal advice as it pertains to your situation please contact our Richmond Hill divorce lawyers today for professional legal advice on legal separation matters.