In order to legally end your marriage, you need to get a divorce order from the Court. Separation is the first step to obtain a divorce.
Pursuant to the Family Law Act, the separation date is the valuation date for the purposes of calculating net family property.
Determination of Separation Date
In some cases, it is quite clear when separation occurs. For example one spouse leaves the family home or provides a separation agreement to the other spouse.
In other cases, the Court has to determine the date of separation considering various factors including:
- the absence of sexual relations
- a clear statement by one of the parties of his or her desire to terminate the relationship
- physical separation of the parties into different rooms of the same house or different residences
- the couple no longer presenting themselves to the outside world as a couple
- the method in which the spouse filed income tax returns
Separation Agreement and Uncontested Divorce
The most efficient and cost-effective way of ending a marriage is by way of settling all claims in a separation agreement and filing an uncontested divorce application. The Family Law Act requires that, in order for a separation agreement to be enforceable, it must be in writing, signed by the parties and witnessed. The ground for divorce is usually marriage breakdown by reason of separation of at least one year and the Application is commenced at the Superior Court of Justice.