Are you living in the same house as your spouse, but considering a legal separation?
You may think that it’s impossible to separate while still living together, but there are actually several options available.
In Ontario, couples can be legally separated without having to move out of their home. Moreover, marriage contracts can also be put in place so that both parties can limit their exposure and protect themselves financially down the road.
So if financial insecurity has been keeping you from separating for good, know that there is still hope.
What is the process for applying for a legal separation if you’re still living with your spouse?
The process for seeking legal separation can vary depending on the province but generally involves filing a joint application with the court and abiding by existing provincial laws.
Here in Ontario, couples can apply for a divorce or legal separation through the Superior Court of Justice.
To start this process, you will need to fill out an Application for Divorce or Legal Separation agreement, along with the appropriate documents. Once you have filed these forms, a judge will review your case and can grant you a legal separation if it is deemed necessary.
It’s important to note that while couples can seek a legal separation while living in the same house, they must demonstrate that they are indeed separate from each other both physically and financially. In other words, couples can no longer be living together as a married couple and must prove that their finances are completely separate.
Are there Tax Implications?
It’s always best to research with the CRA for any specific details surrounding tax implications for living together while separated, however generally speaking, living in the same house can potentially affect both parties’ tax returns.
For example, each partner can claim the spousal amount they are entitled to on their respective tax return but can only do so if their marital status has officially changed. There may be other implications as well, depending on how long a couple lives together after separation and how they are filing taxes.
If you’re considering a legal separation but can’t move out of your house, it can be beneficial to speak with a family law attorney who can provide tailored advice on the best course of action for your situation.
A Marriage Contract
Another option is to put a marriage contract in place to document the existing situation and limit potential exposure down the road. A marriage contract can be used to settle any outstanding issues between the parties such as custody, access, and financial matters. It can also be used to specify how much each party will pay in support or how assets will be divided if the couple decides to separate further down the road.
It’s important to note that while a marriage contract can provide some protection, it can also be challenged in court — so it’s best to seek legal advice from a qualified family lawyer to ensure that your rights are protected.
In summary, couples can be legally separated in Ontario without having to move out of their home. The process involves filing a joint application with the court and abiding by provincial laws. Couples can also put a marriage contract in place to document their current situation and limit potential exposure down the road.
This blog is made available by the law firm publisher, Epstein & Associates, for educational purposes. It provides general information and a general understanding of the law but does not provide specific legal advice. Any specific questions about your legal concerns please contact us now and speak to an expert today.