Divorce 101 FAQs

When can I get divorced?

Typically you can get divorced one year after you and your spouse decide to live separate and apart. This means the date on which you both decide your relationship is over. This does not have to be the same date on which you stopped living together.

Sometimes parties can live apart under the same roof, and sometimes they can still cohabitate even if they live in separate locations. The courts look at various objective factors to determine if the parties are living apart or not.

Some of the criteria that judges consider when determining when a couple began ‘living separate and apart’ are:

(a) Physical separation;

(b) Withdrawal by one or both of the spouses from the matrimonial obligation with the intent of destroying the matrimonial consortium;

(c) Absence of sexual relations is not conclusive, but is a factor to consider;

(d) Lack of communication between the spouses and discussion of family problems;

(e) Absence of joint social activities;

(f) Meal pattern;

(g) Performance of household tasks;

(h) Making plans for his or her assets as a separated person

(i) The relationship and conduct of each of them toward members of their respective families and how did such families behave towards the parties

(h) The financial arrangements between the parties regarding the provision of or contribution toward the necessaries of life (food, clothing, shelter, recreation, etc.)

Typically you and your spouse will agree on a date of separation for use in your divorce papers. If you cannot agree, you may need to have a judge decide for you.

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About the author

Russell Alexander

Russell Alexander is the founder of Russell Alexander Collaborative Family Lawyers and is the firm’s senior partner. At Russell Alexander, our focus is exclusively family law, offering pre-separation legal advice and assisting clients with family related issues, including: custody and access, separation agreements, child and spousal support, division of family property, paternity disputes, and enforcement of court orders. We have locations in Toronto, Markham, Whitby (Brooklin), Lindsay, and Peterborough.

For more information, visit our website, or you can call us at: 905-655-6335.