Separated Couples Under The Same Roof – Yes, It’s Possible

When a relationship is on the rocks, the term “legal separation” is often bandied about. But there’s actually no such formal legal status in Ontario. The process is a fairly simple and straightforward one – no forms to fill, no judge or court involved. It doesn’t even require mutual consent. All it takes is for one party to communicate that the relationship has come to an end.

It often follows that one party moves out – but, even this act is not requisite. Contrary to popular belief, living apart isn’t the absolute defining mark of separation. Some couples are separated, despite continuing to share the same dwelling. Sometimes, it’s out of cost considerations. In other cases, it’s related to issues revolving around the kids.

Whatever the reason underlying a couple’s decision to live ‘together but apart’, the key is to do it the right way. The first order of the day: noting the precise date of the separation. Couples who drift apart and end up living separate lives are often hard-pressed to recall an exact date or the details on how the decision was first communicated. But once divorce is in the offing, the official date becomes a critical piece of information. Without it, issues such as property division and spousal support are beasts to navigate.

Separated couples sharing the same roof also need to be assiduous about making their changed status obvious. Sleeping in separate bedrooms and discontinuing sexual relations are a start. The couple may also stop cooking and eating meals together. They may no longer share in vacations and social activities as a couple. The situation can also be plain for all to see by the manner in which the parties portray themselves to others. Letters, emails, phone messages – they all play a part in building up evidence to support the fact of the separation.

If you’re considering going the route of together-but-separate, get yourself legal help. Make sure the way you go about it works for rather than against you in the long run.

Call us.

We can help.


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