I Want a Legal Separation

May 7, 2007 – 9:03 am

One question a client often asks is “How do I get legally separated?” The short response a lawyer might give is “Lets talk about the important issues first”. Separation when a relationship breaks down, is a question of intention. A couple can be separated and still living under the same roof. At the same time, spouses can be living in different countries, and not consider themselves separated. If one or both spouse considers the relationship to have broken down, then a separation has occurred regardless of who is living where. In most situations, by the time a client is seeing a lawyer about a family law issue, a legal separation has already occurred. Usually therefore, there is really nothing further to be done to “get separated”.

What the lawyer means should they give that rather rude response, is something quite different. What the lawyer means is that while a separation has occurred not a lot turns on the separation itself, from a legal point of view (from an emotional point of view of course, quite a lot may turn on a separation).

The real issues that the lawyer and client need to talk about are such things as custody, support and asset division. The length of time a couple is separated can be important for calculating grounds for divorce, or entitlement to apply for support, in some cases, but those issues are usually minor in comparison to others the lawyer may want to discuss.

If you have questions call or email our office – (250) 656-3961 – reception@mclott.com

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