Effect of Reconciliation

Hello. My name is Bo Luan, and I am an associate lawyer at Feldstein Family Law Group. In today’s video, 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, if the circumstances make it appropriate to do so. Your lawyer and the court will work to facilitate reconciliation if it is possible to reconcile and if reconciling would be good for your children (if any).

Generally speaking, your lawyer will discuss with you the possibility of reconciliation with your spouse. Your lawyer will provide you with information about marriage counselling or guidance facilities that might be able to help you to determine whether reconciliation is possible, and to achieve a reconciliation if so. Please note that your lawyer will not encourage or facilitate a reconciliation where the circumstances of a case would make it inappropriate, such as where there has been family violence.

Before a court will consider the general evidence in a divorce case, it must first consider reconciliation. The court will only proceed with the divorce case if it finds reconciliation to be impossible. However, this step can be skipped if it is clear from the outset that reconciliation would be inappropriate; again, for example, if there has been family violence.

In fact, section 10 of the Divorce Act states that 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 a number of obligations. These obligations are:

(a) to 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, to 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 in achieving 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 parties cohabit as spouses 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, including non-consecutive periods, the terms of their Agreement will immediately become void. However, any payments, conveyances or acts 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 may impact on property and other issues arising out of your separation, please visit our website, or call 905-581-7222 to schedule your initial consultation. I’m Bo Luan, thank you for watching.