Separation happens when you and your spouse cease living in a marriage-like relationship. Divorce happens when a judge grants an Order that officially terminates a marriage.
In British Columbia, separation and divorce are governed by both federal and provincial laws. Canada has “no-fault” divorce in that one spouse does not have to prove wrongdoing, although you do have to indicate what your reasons are to determine when you are eligible to file.
If you file on the grounds of separation, you and your spouse must live apart for at least a year. If you are filing due to violence, abuse or adultery in the relationship, you may do so immediately. It is possible to be separated while still living under the same roof.
Even if you and your former partner have not been separated for a full year and therefore are not qualified to legally divorce, you can still resolve the balance of the outstanding issues between you, including property division, parenting arrangements and support. This can be done by way of a Separation Agreement or Court Order.
It is important to note that under the British Columbia Family Law Act, the definition of “spouse” extends to non-married persons who have been living in a marriage-like relationship for at least two years. While divorce is not applicable to non-married spouses, the majority of the law that applies to married spouses is still applicable. Furthermore, in British Columbia, there is no difference in treatment under the law for same-sex spouses, whether married or non-married.
Your children mean the world to you. We can help you set up a parenting arrangement that ensures their best interests are being protected.
Spousal support and child support are similar, but they’re treated differently in Canada. We understand those nuances, allowing us to best represent your case.
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