Am I Still Separated while Living in the Same House as my Ex?

If you currently cohabit with your soon to be ex-spouse, you can be deemed separated if you are living independently (i.e. sleeping in separate bedrooms, have independent social lives, separate and distinct parenting time with children).

In Alberta the three grounds for obtaining a divorce are the following:

  • Adultery;
  • Mental or physical cruelty, which renders co-habitation intolerable; and
  • Separation for more than one (1) year.

Obviously the one year separation ground is the least contentious, but it also can be somewhat confusing as most parties don’t necessarily physically separate immediately following their decision to proceed with a divorce.

Most divorcing couples do not have the financial means to physically separate from one another but that does not mean that the one year separation period cannot commence and continue to run while both are living under the same roof. It is a common misconception that the parties have to be living in separate homes in order to claim the one year separation.

For more information on this topic, contact Traci Bannister in the Calgary office, or Jenna Moore and Adam Zibdawi in the Edmonton office.