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Divorce in Canada: Living with a spouse during a separation

There may be a time when a couple realizes that their marriage is no longer working, yet for current financial reasons they decide that it might be wise to continue to share living arrangements. Divorce is what it says it is -- divorcing oneself from one's spouse, so separating and still living under the same roof may have its challenges. Couples in Canada who choose to share resources during a separation are essentially in limbo, and if children are involved, it may help to focus on them instead of the circumstances of a difficult transition.

Couples who separate, but who continue to live together should know that to move forward with a formal divorce, they must have been living apart for at least one year. So, even though still sharing one home, there are other things the people can do to begin to separate from each other. Scheduling time individually with the kids is one good way to start. By doing this the children will be begin to realize, too, that not everything they do will be with mom and dad together. 

Agreeing on how each individual will treat the other is also important. Chances are the issues that caused the separation in the first place are still sore spots, so spouses should find ways to circumvent those issues if they continue to share the same spaces. Perhaps a list of who does what in the home may help, along with who pays for what. There may be less chance of disagreement if things are spelled out in black and white.

There may come a time when separated couples who live together for various reasons decide to physically separate as well, so they can move ahead with their lives. Divorce is a decision not to be taken lightly and perhaps obtaining legal counsel during a separation phase may help each person make a final decision about the marriage. A lawyer in Canada may be able to provide the legal insight needed to make that tough decision.

Source: huffingtonpost.ca, "How To Live With Your Spouse Through A Separation", Nathalie Boutet, March 9, 2018

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