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Law Divorce & Separation



One of the most important aspects about going through a separation or divorce is determining if you are going to be, or want to be, legally “separated” or “divorced”.


The date of separation determines when the right and responsibility for support and division of properties arises, whether you are in a common-law relationship or legally married.


Well, first thing’s first: What is the difference between being “separated” or “divorced”?

  • A “separation” is when two people who have been living together as a married or common-law couple decide to live apart.
  • A “divorce” is when a court officially ends a marriage.

Determining the date of separation is extremely important whenever a relationship breaks down. The test, in law, for the date of separation is the date at which there is no possibility of reconciliation.


Each partnership and circumstance are unique, so it is important that we begin with some very basic (and mostly easy!) questions, so we can figure out where you stand from a legal perspective.

  • How long have you been together? (*cohabitating/married/common-law)
  • Do you have jointly owned property/assets? (*house/cottage/car/etc.)
  • Do you have children? If so, how many? How old are they? Where do they live?
  • What was your date of separation?
  • What is your and ex-partner’s current living situation?
  • Are there any debts?
  • Do you have a family business?
  • What are your incomes and employment?

There are many more questions (like those above) that will have to be answered to understand your starting point.



Determining your best path forward can be complicated (and frustrating!) at times, because family law involves every aspect of your life, including children, your home, your income, your taxes, family businesses, pensions and more.


Once we understand your starting point, we can explore how family law impacts your situation and defines your rights and responsibilities.


My experience has taught me a lot over the years, but something impactful that I let my clients know immediately is that it is important to manage expectations on the eventual outcome. One thing that is for certain in any divorce or separation; nobody gets everything they want. It is crucial to understand this from the beginning.


Each partnership, no matter how long it was for, brings its own circumstances and challenges. Figuring out what is best for you, as well as listening to what you want for yourself and family, is the best way to begin.


Knowing what to expect is half the battle. This is why at Berry Family Law we always take the time to help you understand how your circumstance and family law fit together. This provides clarity so you can make the decisions that will allow you to work through what can feel like a difficult time to reach the best possible outcome for you and your family.


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