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What is the first thing to do when separating in Canada?

Divorce, separation and other family law issues can be emotionally draining and distressing. Finding the right course of action can be challenging at this time. 

Well, in most cases, choosing a lawyer such as divorce lawyer Edmonton should be the first thing you do. Yet there are other things to do and the priority list may vary person to person.

Let’s know what are the things to do during a separation from your partner.


7 things to do when you are separating:

Since every divorce or separation case is different, it difficult to define the first thing to do. Here are 7 things you should do while you are separating from your partner:

Consent to date for separation:

It would help if you started by noting the separation date. This date is important because it determines any deadlines you may have to file for separation and initiate a claim for a property settlement. Any claims filed to Medicare, Centrelink, and the Child Support Agency will also utilize this date. 

The separation agreement:

A separation agreement is a binding legal document. It serves as a written record of the issues a couple has resolved following their separation. It is not required to end a relationship. A separation agreement is typically quicker and more affordable than going to court to resolve conflicts.

You can draft your separation agreement with the help of a lawyer. Before signing the separation agreement, each spouse should consult with a lawyer. Make sure you are aware of all the implications of the agreement.

Avoid leaving the house if you can:

Do not leave the house unless the situation is intolerable or you are concerned for your safety. Both partners have an equal claim to ownership of the house as married spouses. 

You might want to file for an interim custody and support order if you or your partner have moved out. Until a final court order is issued, the court may issue temporary custody, support, or access orders.

However, the likelihood that you will be given sole possession of the house after separation may be decreased if you leave and have moved out by the time you go to court. So keep in mind that leaving without a plan may create a new situation for the kids, affecting the final schedule.

Worry about safety:

As you are not suggested to leave home, ask for a restraining order if you’re worried about your safety. Say if your husband is violent or has threatened to harm you or your kids. If you are the dependant spouse, you should also request temporary custody of the kids and child support.

Attenuation of assets:

Avoid using any extreme measures that the courts might interpret as dishonest. Never send huge sums of money to a relative or offer a friend & family member an unusually large sum of money as a “gift” to avoid sharing it with your spouse.

Also, never attempt to hide money. Avoid making any big or unusual purchases. The courts may misinterpret these and be less favorable to your case.

Courts may also order to freeze your accounts if you appear to be emptying your accounts or trying to hide money. Do not abruptly freeze or empty any joint credit cards or accounts you have with your spouse.

Update your estate plan and will

After your divorce or separation, review your will. Ensure your wishes regarding the distribution of your property after death are accurate.

It can happen that you signed a Power of Attorney giving your partner the power to handle your finances and property. If you did, you’d have to cancel it to take away this power. You can know how to cancel it by speaking with a lawyer.

Ask for early legal advice:

We prepare for many things in life, and separation is no exception. This involves seeking legal counsel from a qualified family lawyer rather than acquaintances who have just been through a divorce or separation. Every family law situation is unique and calls for a specific strategy.

At this point in your separation, feeling overwhelmed is very natural. Although there is a lot to do, and it is all new to you, once you cross items off the checklist, you will feel assured, in control, and prepared to move on. Moreover, remember that there are many better things ahead than any we left behind.


There is no specific procedure you must follow in Canada to legally separate from your husband. All you need to initiate a separation is the desire on both of your parts to live apart from one another. You can choose to separate even without your partner’s consent. But to avoid any issues and inconveniences, you must play some essential roles.

Also read athis article if you in search of the best injury lawyer in Maryland..

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