Hello. My name is Rachel Williams, and I am an associate lawyer at Feldstein Family Law Group. In today’s video blog, I will be speaking to you about the effect of reconciliation after separation, even after you and your spouse have signed a Separation Agreement.
It is never too late to reconcile with your spouse at any point in the separation process, should it be appropriate to do so. Your lawyer and the court endeavour to facilitate reconciliation where it is possible and when it is in the children’s best interests.
Generally speaking, your lawyer will discuss with you the possibility of reconciliation with your spouse and will provide you with information about marriage counselling or guidance facilities that might be able to assist you to achieve a reconciliation or to determine whether reconciliation is possible. Please note that your lawyer will not encourage or facilitate a reconciliation where the circumstances of a case would make it inappropriate to do so, such as where there has been family violence.
Moreover, it is the duty of the court in a divorce proceeding, before considering the evidence, to satisfy itself that there is no possibility of spousal reconciliation, unless the circumstances of the case are of such a nature that it would clearly be inappropriate to do so.
In fact, pursuant to section 10 of the Divorce Act, if at any stage in a divorce proceeding it appears to the court from the nature of the case, the evidence, or the attitude of either or both spouses that there is a possibility of reconciliation, the court has an obligation to:
(a) adjourn the proceeding to give the spouses a chance to achieve a reconciliation; and
(b) with the consent of both spouses or in the discretion of the court, nominate
(i) a person with experience or training in marriage counselling or guidance, or
(ii) in special circumstances, some other suitable person,
to assist the spouses to achieve a reconciliation.
Sometimes, reconciliation even happens after the parties have entered into a separation agreement resolving the issues in dispute on a final basis.
Most standard form separation agreements include a clause that provides that if the husband and wife cohabit as husband and wife for any periods totalling less than ninety days, the terms of their Agreement will not be affected. However, if the parties cohabit for periods totalling 90 days or more, the terms of their Agreement will immediately become void, except that any payment, conveyance or act made or done pursuant to the terms of the Agreement will remain valid. As such, while the property transfers pursuant to an Agreement survive reconciliation, the Agreement itself would be invalidated.
For more information on how reconciliation pay impact on property and other issues arising out of your separation, please visit our website at www.separation.ca, or call 905-415-1636 to schedule your initial consultation. I’m Rachel Williams, thank you for watching.