Fergie filed for divorce on Friday, May 31, 2019, from former husband Josh Duhamel. This came as no surprise since the couple announced that they had been legally separated since April 1, 2017.
In 2017, Fergie and Josh confirmed they were no longer together, sharing in a statement: "With absolute love and respect, we decided to separate as a couple earlier this year. We are and will always be united in our support of each other and our family."
Fergie is asking for joint and legal custody of the one son they share together.
Separation in Ontario
Separation occurs when one spouse has the intention to live separate and apart from the other without a reasonable prospect for reconciliation. This does not mean that you and your partner have to be living in different homes. It is possible to live "separate and apart" under the same roof. To determine if spouses are in fact living separate and apart, courts look at multiple factors, such as whether they:
- Share a bedroom
- Have sexual relations
- Prepare and eat meals together
- Attend social events as a couple
- Continue to communicate about and accommodate one another’s schedules
The Divorce Act encourages reconciliation by allowing parties to resume cohabitation for the purposes of reconciliation without terminating or interrupting the one-year separation period, provided the cohabitation does not span more than 90 days.
Divorce in Ontario
A couple in Ontario must be legally separated for one year before they can apply for a divorce. There are additional requirements if the couple has children. One of the statutory bars to divorce is the lack of proper reasonable arrangements for the care of the children. The court will be very reluctant to order a divorce where the parties have not yet determined support or devised a parenting plan, as this would be contrary to the child’s best interests.
What the court will do is adjourn the proceedings to give the parties time to make reasonable arrangements for the care of the children. It is a discretionary bar, so the court will not order the divorce unless and until it is satisfied that those arrangements have been made and that they will be adhered to.