Due to the high cost of living, it is becoming more frequent today for couples who no longer consider themselves to be partners to stay living in the same house or apartment because they can’t afford to do anything else. As such, you may wonder how to prove you are legally separated in BC while still living together.
In British Columbia, if you are in this situation, it may be necessary to prove to the court your new status if there is a disagreement between you and your spouse as to the fact that you are separated and the date of separation. If you are married and you want to get a divorce, and there is no disagreement between you and your spouse as to date of separation, you would only have to swear or affirm a declaration that you and your partner have been living separate and apart for one year, unless adultery or mental cruelty have been proven. Also, you may have to prove your new status to third parties such as government agencies. In this case, you may be required to have a separation agreement, court declaration or divorce order as evidence of your separation.
If my partner does not agree we are separated, how do I prove to the court that I am separated in BC?
If your partner does not agree that you are separated or does not agree with the date of separation then you may have to prove to the court that you are separated and the date of the separation. Proof can be such things as emails, letters, and texts evidencing the new status of the relationship between you and your partner. You may also have witnesses to testify as to your new living arrangements etc. Other proof could be financial evidence such as separating bank accounts, bill payments and filing separate tax returns. The key is to establish that you are living separate and apart even though you are in the same house or apartment. For example, are you and your ex-partner living in different rooms, not eating together, not going to social functions together and not attending your ex-partners’ family obligations.
What is a simple way to establish that I no longer wish to be with my partner?
The simplest and cheapest way to establish the date of separation is just to tell your partner in writing that the relationship is over. This can be done by simply emailing your partner, sending a registered letter, or just texting your partner.
With the high cost of living in British Columbia these days, it is no wonder why so many ex-spouses still live together even when the relationship is over. The question “How do I Prove I am Separated if I Still Live Under the Same Roof as my Partner?” will continue to be an important one.
Mark-John O’Nions is a family lawyer in Vancouver, B.C. and can be reached by telephone at 604.697.0996 or through his website at M.J. O’Nions Lawyer & Mediator should you have any questions.