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The difference Between Separation and Divorce

What is the difference between between separation and divorce?

The Government of Canada defines A separation as: “when a couple decides to live apart from each other because the relationship has broken down. The couple may be married, or they may be unmarried but living together like a married couple in a common-law relationship.” The definition of a divorce, “is when a court officially ends a marriage. Only legally married couples can divorce.”

It is important to understand that separation occurs when one party makes it clear to the other that the relationship is over with no chance of reconciliation. Separation applies to couples whether they are married or in a common law relationship. However, a divorce, can only be granted to parties who are married as a divorce order dissolves the marriage and allows either party to re-marry in the future. As common law couples do not obtain a marriage license when commencing the cohabitation period, they are free to wed a new partner right away upon the breakdown of their relationship.

It is important to know that in order to get divorced the parties need to be living separate and apart for one year prior to the divorce being granted. That said, married couples do not have to wait the one year period before starting to negotiate all aspects of the breakdown of the marriage such as support issues, property issues, child related issues, etc…, they can reach out to a Toronto Divorce Lawyer. Either party can commence negotiations or court as of the date of separation.

Contact our Toronto or Mississauga Family Law Divorce Lawyer

If you and your spouse have been unable to come to an agreement on child support or any other issue, you can file an application asking the court for a divorce and whatever other relief you need at the same time. Be aware, however, that the court will not grant your divorce until after the issues relating to the children have been determined

As Family Law lawyers we specialize in separation and divorce and provide comprehensive guidance throughout the process.

To find out your legal rights or additional information about the difference between separation and divorce in Ontario reach out to a Toronto Divorce Lawyer like the experienced family lawyers at Nathens Siegel.


For more information or to book a reduced rate consultation with one of our lawyers please fill out our contact form here

About the Author

Glen has obtained a Bachelor of Arts Degree from McGill University while majoring in Political Science, with a minor in Canadian history. He went on to obtain his LL.B degree in 2010, while studying at the University Of Ottawa Faculty Of Law as part of a select few accepted into the National Program. Glen took a special interest in the field of family law as he completed specialized courses ranging from Complex Division of Property to Child Protection Law and Trust Law.