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Separation happens when you are in a ‘couple’ relationship, like a marriage or common law relationship, and you and your spouse or partner decide that you are going to live ‘separate and apart.’ This means that you are no longer going to live together as a couple.Usually separated spouses or partners live in different homes.If one spouse or partner leaves the relationship with the intention of ending it, the couple is separated, whether or not the other person agrees.You cannot force your spouse or partner to remain in the relationship because you do not want to separate from them. There is no such thing as being ‘legally separated’ in Canada. If you and your spouse decide to separate, there is no need to start divorce proceedings right away. The Waiting Period Where can I get help or more information?
If you're reading this page, you've already received a form of legal aid.
, you may be able to get legal representation and most legal advice for free.
The eligibility guidelines for legal advice and for legal representation are separate.
This law allows non-resident couples to apply for a divorce in Canada.
For more information and links to the forms you need, see our fact sheet Same-sex marriage/divorce: How to get a divorce if your home state in the US doesn't recognize the marriage..
You are married until you are granted a divorce by the court, even if you have a separation agreement.