What is Marital Separation?

More than 10 years ago, the University of Victoria, British Columbia, in collaboration with other educational institutions from Germany and Brazil, did a research study on the dissolution and separation of married couples.
This study was meant to determine trends and factors that led to marital separation and. Among the findings of the study were the following: the spouse’s employment outside the house, children’s schooling and pregnancy which normally we think of stressful, actually brought couples closer and strengthened their marriage. It also found out that women, who came from happy homes, were emotionally stronger.

The article talks about the alleged provisions of legal separation, the grounds for divorce in Canada and things you should know about separation and divorce.

What does the Law say regarding Legal Separation?

The law recognizes couples as legally separated if the couple presents themselves to their family and friends as separated. Once a couple is separated, it is better to come up with a legal document to prevent any future disputes. If the couple is unable to arrive at an agreement amicably, then they can approach a court for arbitration. Either one can move the court to protect their assets and resolve the dispute. This legally drafted marital separation agreement has the purview to deal with child custody, child and or spousal support, distribution of joint marital assets, and family property. To avoid complications at a later date, it is better if both the parties engage lawyers to represent their interests, disclose all financial holdings and assets and arrive at a mutually satisfactory arrangement. The various factors to be considered carefully and decided upon while opting for a martial separation include child custody and support, spousal support, distribution and allocation of family assets and properties, and any agreement which focuses on the welfare of the children.

What are the Grounds for a Divorce in Canada?

However, says a different thing. The Canada Divorce Act recognises three grounds for a divorce: adultery, cruelty and being separated for one year. Most divorces proceed on the basis of the parties being separated for one year, even if there has been adultery or cruelty, because proving adultery or cruelty is expensive and time consuming. There is a so-called one-year running period which starts from the time at least one spouse intends to live separate and apart from the other and acts on it. You do not need a piece of paper or a court order to be separated. There is no such thing as a "legal separation" in Canada.

What do you need to know about Marriage, Separation and Divorce?

Law Protection says that whether you are getting married or getting divorced or deciding on a separation in Canada, there are always legal issues involved. Although you and your partner may agree on certain aspects (such as the financial implications, child custody or mortgages) on the surface, differences in opinions and needs will probably arise once the legal procedures are followed.
• Where you stand legally
• What legal contracts and documents are needed
• What you need a lawyer for and what you can do yourself
To file for a divorce in Canada, you and your spouse have to be separated for at least one year. It is a common misconception that you have to prove that your spouse was at fault to file for a divorce – this is not true. There are many different scenarios when it comes to getting a divorce in Canada, ranging from one of the parties being unfaithful to a “joint divorce” where both parties apply to the court together for a divorce.
Getting separated in Canada also requires legal advice because you will usually have to deal with issues such as child support, custody and property. There are also certain legal considerations such as reconciliation (you and your partner are allowed to live together for up to 90 days, if you live together for over 90 days the second year will start over and there will be a new date of separation).
If you are getting married in Canada it is advisable to see a lawyer about your marriage contract. Besides protecting your assets, property and income, you also need to make considerations about alimony or support.

The Agony of Marital Separation and Divorce

Separation and divorce are very sensitive aspects in the lives of couples. Hence, these are things that couples will have to be very careful about especially since the most adversely affected are their children. It pays to be very judicious in making decisions regarding relationships to spare your children of all the agony and embarrassment.


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