4 Tips On How To Live Together During A Separation

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4 Tips On How To Live Together During A Separation

When people first hear the word divorce, it can call to mind immediately, the horror stories that can come with the process. Some people may not realize that there is the option to separate before continuing down the divorce path. However, separation is still a trying, emotional time in a person's life, especially with children involved. Maybe there is still hope to reconcile your relationship, or maybe you just simply need time apart. Whatever the reason, separation can provide couples with a “trial” period to experience what it would be like to be apart before committing to a legal divorce. Living together

Divorce vs. Separation

Legal separation is a court order, which mandates the rights and duties of a couple while they are married whereas a divorce is a complete dissolution of marriage. When you legally separate from your spouse, you are still married under the law. You will still be required to mark off “married” on important documents, you cannot remarry, and any property you accumulate or debts will be held by both parties.

Choosing between divorce and separation is a personal choice. Separation continues your relationship to an extent that allows you to both stay connected to one another. Some couples prefer legal separation over divorce to keep an open line of communication and to try and keep their families together before making any drastic decisions about divorce.

Our client-centered approach at Ellis Legal Group is meant to provide caring support and diligent integrity to each Alberta separation case we take on.

Treat Your Spouse Like Your Business Partner

Be respectful and courteous. Answer emails, text messages, and keep open lines of communication between the two of you. You will have to work together to find a resolution to the problem that initially caused the breakdown of your relationship. Do not tamper with the hard work both you and your partner have put into reconciling the marriage. Even if the separation ends in divorce, you will still need these communication strategies to co-parent your kids for the years to come. Although it can be tempting to unleash all your anger and other emotions, try to maintain your patience so no drastic decisions are made that you may regret in the future.

Do Not Make Any Significant Changes

Now is not the time to purchase that new vehicle you have always wanted or the time to take an expensive trip. If you have been paying for certain family bills, continue paying those bills and do not make any decisions without first consulting your partner. Until you have reached an agreement on how expenses will be paid and how finances are being handled, avoid making any significant financial changes.

If you have children, try not to disrupt the lifestyle they are used to. They are entitled to a stable environment so try to avoid making changes to their daily routines. If you have plans to move in the future, work out a parenting plan with your spouse to ensure your kids are as comfortable as possible moving into their new way of life.

Arrange Your Space And Personal Belongings

Even if you are living together, remember to give each other space. Communicate things like who gets to use which vehicle, which of you will take care of family duties and when, and who gets what space in your home. You will both need your personal space, after all that is part of the reason for getting a separation. This will give you both boundaries to follow, ensuring you can have your own peace and quiet even if you are in the same house.

Discuss The Duration Of The Separation

Openly decide on how long you would like your separation to be. Give adequate time to live with the separation, but do not let it go on forever. A period of 3-6 months is optimal for a temporary separation trial. You and your spouse should decide together how long you would like the separation to be.

Talk To Your Kids If Necessary

The best part about living together during your separation is that it can be less stressful and less of a change for your kids. Kids can be sensitive and they may not understand what is happening or why it is happening. If they are young, you may choose not to discuss your separation until you and your spouse are more clear about how your relationship will look moving forward. You know your kids best so you are the most qualified to decide how much to tell them. Your legal counsel or a therapist can advise you if you are unsure what to do.

Contact The Ellis Legal Group Today

Continuing to live together during separation may not be for everyone. However, it presents a great opportunity for couples wishing to reconcile their relationship and for those who do not want to go through a divorce quite yet. It may be easier on your kids if they don't have to make any drastic lifestyle changes and can stay in the comfort of their home with both parents present. While this period can be painful, it is important to remember that you are both making the best decision for your family.

At Ellis Legal Group, we place the integrity of the family unit and the health and well-being of our clients and children first and foremost. A family lawyer from Ellis Legal Group can help facilitate negotiations while keeping the needs of your family at the forefront


Q: How long does a separation take?
A: The length of your separation will be determined by your individual circumstances as well as other factors that are beyond your control. You can expect the separation to take anywhere from 3 weeks to a whole year to be finalized.

Q: Do I need a lawyer for a legal separation?
A: Technically no you do not until you finalize your separation agreement and submit it. This document will be the basis of your divorce decree if you do not remain married. The document must be unambiguous, clear, and legally enforceable which can be best done with the help of an experienced lawyer. If mistakes are made in the document, changes cannot be made after your submission.

Q: Do my spouse and I need separate lawyers?
A: Yes. In order to make the document legally enforceable, you will need legal counsel.

Our Practice is Dedicated to Family Law

Our Practice is Dedicated to Family Law

Let us be your greatest asset during times of family transition. Ellis Legal Group takes a client-centered approach by educating our clients on family law, guiding you through a range of legal options, and customizing solutions to meet your unique needs. Being client-centered also means we do everything in a caring and supportive manner and with the utmost professionalism and integrity. Serving Calgary, Okotoks and surrounding areas.

Get Started Today With a Free Consultation

Divorce, separation, entering a marriage or common-law relationship, and planning your estate are significant, and sometimes traumatic, life transitions. Let us provide you with the information and support you need to plan for your best future. 

Call us at (403) 879-1635 and book your free consultation today.

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