Separation Process Protecting Your Family's Interests for Over 25 Years

Separation Agreements in Ontario

Property Division & the Date of Separation

While legal separation in Ontario is an evolving process and usually takes place over many months, the date of the separation is important for married couples. That date is used as the date for the valuation of all property that will be divided between the spouses (see the Division of Property section for more information).

Additionally, parties must be separated for one year before they can apply for divorce, unless one spouse is applying for divorce on the grounds of adultery or cruelty.

Issues surrounding separation in Ontario should be addressed immediately. These issues often include child support, spousal support, division of assets, what will be done with the matrimonial home, who will have custody of the children, how decisions regarding children will be made, and who will spend time with the children and at what times (an access schedule).

What Is a Separation Agreement in Ontario?

Separation agreements allow two spouses to live "separate and apart" from the other without legally ending their marriage. They may choose to live in separate homes, but it’s not required in order to be legally separated. It is possible to live "separate and apart" under the same roof. You can be separated and still live in the same house in Ontario.

When determining if spouses are in fact living "separate and apart," the courts will look at certain factors, such as whether or not they:

  • Share a bedroom
  • Have sexual relations
  • Prepare and eat meals together
  • Attend social events as a couple
  • Share chores
  • 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.

When Is Separation Beneficial?

It is not uncommon for spouses to continue to live together through the separation process. Childcare requirements, housing needs, and financial realities may make it difficult for either party to move out. It is also not advisable for either party to leave before the issues surrounding separation have been negotiated. The party who moves out gives up the status quo by doing so, and can then have greater difficulty making certain claims, such as for exclusive possession of the matrimonial home or custody of the children.

In addition, if one spouse is awarded support, that order can be retroactive to the date of separation. If the spouse who would be the support payor has moved out and has not been supporting the other spouse during the separation period, they may owe retroactive support for that time.

What Not Just Get a Divorce?

After one year of separation in Ontario, either or both spouses can apply for divorce, but if there are children of the marriage, courts will only grant a divorce if they are satisfied that reasonable arrangements for child support have been made, which usually means that the payor is paying the Table amount of child support, as set out in the Child Support Guidelines.

Many couples remain separated for years, and only go through the formal process of divorce if one of them seeks to remarry.

Learn more about the separation process in Ontario and what to expect by reading more articles in this section of our website, or call a separation lawyer at (905) 581-7222 for a free in-office consultation.

Meet Our Dedicated Team of Lawyers

Over a Century of Collective Experience
  • Andrew  Feldstein Photo
  • Deleta  Grandy Photo
  • Jeff  Hart Photo
  • Daphna  Schwartz Photo
  • Nick  Slinko Photo
  • Anna  Troitschanski Photo
  • Veronica  Yeung Photo
  • Shana  Gordon-Katz Photo
  • Shazia  Hafiji Photo
  • Lucy  D'Ercole Photo
  • Joy  Pura Photo
  • Andrew  Feldstein Photo
    Andrew Feldstein

    Founder

    Andrew Feldstein graduated from Osgoode Hall Law School in 1992. Prior to focusing exclusively on family law, Andrew’s legal practice covered many different areas, including corporate commercial. One of Andrew’s fundamental objectives is to achieve those goals mutually and collaboratively, as set out by him and his client.

  • Deleta  Grandy Photo
    Deleta Grandy

    Lawyer

    Deleta Grandy obtained her Bachelor of Arts in Legal Studies at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology in 2012, where she graduated with Honours. She completed her legal studies at Western Law School, graduating with a Juris Doctor in 2016.

  • Jeff  Hart Photo
    Jeff Hart

    Lawyer

    Jeff obtained his Honours Bachelor of Arts degree in Classical Studies from McMaster University before attending law school at Queen’s.

  • Daphna  Schwartz Photo
    Daphna Schwartz

    Lawyer

    Location: Markham Daphna Schwartz joined Feldstein Family Law Group, P.C. in 2007 as an associate lawyer. She was previously ...
  • Nick  Slinko Photo
    Nick Slinko

    Lawyer

    Location: Vaughan Nick Slinko attended York University from 2003 until 2007 where he majored in both Law & Society and ...
  • Anna  Troitschanski Photo
    Anna Troitschanski

    Lawyer

    Anna Troitschanski joined the team at Feldstein Family Law Group, P.C. in 2012. Prior to that, she practised Family Law at a boutique Newmarket firm. Her experience covers all areas of divorce and family law, including custody and access, child support, spousal support, and division of property.
  • Veronica  Yeung Photo
    Veronica Yeung

    Lawyer

    Veronica Yeung joined the Feldstein Family Law Group, P.C. as a summer student in 2014 and returned as an articling student in 2015. Following her call to the Ontario Bar in June 2016, Veronica was welcomed to the team as an associate lawyer.

  • Shana  Gordon-Katz Photo
    Shana Gordon-Katz

    Lawyer

    Shana joined Feldstein Family Law Group P.C. as an articling student in 2017. Following her call to the Ontario Bar in June 2018, Shana was welcomed back to the firm as an associate. While completing her articles, Shana assisted with legal matters covering all areas of family law.

  • Shazia  Hafiji Photo
    Shazia Hafiji

    Lawyer

    Shazia Hafiji joined Feldstein Family Law Group P.C. as a summer student in 2016 and returned as an articling student in 2017. Following her Call to the Ontario Bar in 2018, Shazia returned to the firm as an associate lawyer.

  • Lucy  D'Ercole Photo
    Lucy D'Ercole

    Lawyer

    Lucy D’Ercole joined Feldstein Family Law Group P.C. as a summer student in 2017 and returned as an articling student in 2018, during which she gained valuable experience in all areas of family law. Following her call to the Ontario Bar in 2019, Lucy was welcomed back to the firm as an associate lawyer.
  • Joy  Pura Photo
    Joy Pura

    Lawyer

    Joy Pura completed her legal studies and obtained a Juris Doctor at the University of Ottawa. Prior to that, she completed ...
/

We're Committed to You

  • Convenient Meeting Locations

    Our team is able to meet with you and provide quality family law legal services in Markham, Oakville, Mississauga, Vaughan, and the surrounding areas.

  • Quick Response Times by Email & Phone

    This is one of the most difficult times in your life and our goal is to help make this transition as smooth as possible. To help put your mind at ease we ensure that our team is always available to guide you.

  • Free In-Office Consultations*

    We understand you have questions and need guidance on your next step. We make getting these questions answered as easy as possible. We offer free consultation* for our new clients.

  • 25 Years of Experience

    Experience Matters. Our founding attorney has over 25 years of experience in the legal field. As a firm you get over a century of dedicated legal experience advocating for your family's best interests. 

Take the First Step

Fill out the form below to begin your free in-office consultation with one of our experienced lawyers or call us at 905-581-7222.
  • Please enter your first name.
  • Please enter your last name.
  • Please enter your phone number.
    This isn't a valid phone number.
  • Please enter your email address.
    This isn't a valid email address.
  • Please make a selection.
  • Please make a selection.
  • Please make a selection.
  • Please make a selection.
  • Please make a selection.
  • Please enter a message.