éducaloi: separating with or without divorce

Divorce is not the only option for two married people who want to end their relationship. Separating otherwise is possible.

Separating without ending your marriage

Only a death or a judgment of divorce put an end to the marriage. However, it is possible for two people to stay married without living together. This is called legal separation. You can apply for legal separation if you no longer wish to live together, but do not want to sever the ties of your marriage with a divorce.

You will then obtain a judgment which explains that you are officially separating, but that you remain married. The judgment settles the consequences of your separation. For example, by addressing issues relating to child custody, child support and the division of your property.

Divorce is always an option

A divorce can be obtained without legal separation. You can apply directly for a divorce if you are the victim of physical or mental cruelty or your partner has committed adultery. In the absence of one of these situations, you must have lived apart for a year or at least have intended to live apart for a year.

Without a divorce decree, you cannot remarry another person. Also, your ex could inherit your property if you die without a will.

Waiting for your permanent residence?

If you are waiting for your permanent residence, your separation could end the process. Whether you are married or de facto spouses, get information from a lawyer to find out the specifics that apply to your situation.

Informative text – This text does not constitute legal advice; it is recommended to consult a lawyer or notary for such advice. Éducaloi is a non-profit organization whose mission is to inform Quebecers of their rights and obligations in clear language.

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