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Once a relationship ends, separation is the first step in eventually obtaining a divorce. For most, a separation is a confusing and stressful period in their lives. Not only must separating couples handle the emotional aftermath of their separation, they must also make significant decisions about property division, spousal support and, if there are children involved, custody and access and child support. Such decisions all have significant legal and financial implications, and are therefore important to address with a full understanding of all your options. Ideally, these details are agreed to and laid out in a formal separation agreement early in the separation process.
A separation means that a couple remains legally married, but live “separate and apart” from one another. To obtain a divorce, a former couple must be separated for at least a year. Both common-law and married couples can go though the separation process.
The easiest way to meet the criteria of living separate and apart is for one spouse to physically leave the matrimonial home to live somewhere else. However, a physical separation is not always financially or practically feasible, and in certain circumstances separated spouses continue to live under the same roof, but are considered legally separated.
Unlike a divorce, a separation does not change your legal status from married to single. There is no “time limit” to a separation, and a divorce will not automatically occur after some defined period of time. Couples can remain separated indefinitely without ever filing for divorce. However, obtaining a divorce is necessary if one of the former partners wants to marry again. After your divorce, your status legally changes to single.
To make the separation transition as seamless and stress-free as possible, it is crucial to obtain legal advice from an experienced and knowledgeable family lawyer. This can help you figure out your options, protect your legal rights, and mitigate potential issues early in the process. The pragmatic and compassionate family and divorce lawyers at Arbesman Hamilton LLP can guide you through this uncertain time and help you get back on your feet. We take pride in our practical, client-focused approach and always provide clear, honest advice. Our goal with each file is to reach the best possible resolution for each client quickly, saving them time, money, and further emotional hardship.
In addition to providing legal advice about how to protect yourself before, during, and after a separation, we assist clients with:
Separations can be uncertain and emotional. Your best plan through this transition is to have an experienced family lawyer on your side to provide guidance and assistance, and to protect your legal rights. Contact the family lawyers at Arbesman Hamilton LLP online or at 416-481-5604 to book a consultation.
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