This question is often posed: “We aren’t living together anymore; are we legally separated?” Well, there is no such thing as being illegally separated! “Living separate and apart” does have certain legal connotations in Canadian law. Interestingly, it is possible, and legally recognized, in certain cases, to be “living separate and apart” under the same roof. It is especially crucial for married spouses to establish the date of separation for at least two important reasons: firstly, the reason for divorce most often relied upon is that the spouses have lived separate and apart for at least one year.
Secondly, the date of separation is also referred to as the “valuation date” necessary to establish as the focal point for property division. While the rights of separating common law spouses are not the same regarding property, division of property is still very much a live issue to resolve, and the date of separation is very relevant and important to determine.
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