Q: My spouse and I are still living in the same home but consider ourselves separated. Is it possible to be living in the same house with someone but be separated?
Yes, you can be separated from someone and live in the same house. If you are making applications to the Court, you will need to provide evidence to the Court about your living situation and the judge will decide whether or not you and your spouse are truly separated. The judge will look at all of the circumstances to make this decision, for example, whether you eat meals together, whether you cook and clean for each other, whether you share a bedroom, whether you continue to attend family functions together etc.
Q: What is a separation agreement?
A separation agreement is a legal contract between two spouses (whether you are legally married or commom-law) setting out the terms of the parties separation including the division of marital assets and debts, guardianship of children, parenting time with children, child support, spousal support and any other matters that needs to be addressed between the parties.
Q: Is a separation agreement required?
In the Province of Alberta having a separation agreement is not mandatory but is recommended, particularly when property is being divided. Financial institutions require separation agreements for changes to accounts, mortgage applications, etc. as well as Canada Revenue Agency for tax matters.
Q: Do I need a lawyer for a separation agreement?
You do not need a lawyer to prepare your separation agreement. However, if your property has been divided by a separation agreement, each spouse must attend with a lawyer to obtain independent legal advice when signing the agreement and have the lawyer execute the Certificate of Independent Legal Advice attached to the agreement.
Q: Does my separation agreement need to be filed with the court?
Your agreement does not need to be filed in any court for it to be valid.
Q: My spouse and I prepared our own separation agreement. Is it legal and binding?
If your property has been divided by a separation agreement, Alberta’s Matrimonial Property Act requires that each spouse attend with a lawyer to obtain independent legal advice when signing the agreement and have the lawyer execute the Certificate of Independent Legal Advice attached to the agreement for the agreement to be legal and binding.
Q: What happens if my spouse breaches a term of our separation agreement?
If one of the parties breaches a term in the agreement, the other party has the option of applying to the Court to enforce the term or terms of the agreement.
Q: What is a 'Parenting After Separation' course?
Parents with children under the age of 16 years are required to attend the Parenting After Separation Course unless the parties live more than 150 kilometers from a city or town offering the Parenting After Separation Course. If the parties have agreed on all parenting matters and entered into a Separation Agreement, the Separation Agreement can be filed with the court so attendance at the Parenting After Separation Course is not required. Learn more here