common law separation and financial disclosure

Common Law Separation in BC Top Tips

 

At Nasser Allan, we can help you navigate and understand the legal implications resulting from your common law separation in BC.

If you are a “spouse” in BC you are entitled to share equally in any property acquired during the relationship when the relationship ends. You may also be entitled to spousal support, depending on the circumstances of your relationship. Common law separation in BC can be a legally complicated areas of law contact Nasser Allan LLP to ensure your rights are protected.

Whether you are classified as a “spouse” or not does not depend on whether you are legally married. Under the The Family Law Act, you may still be classified as a “spouse” and entitled to the rights of spouse, including property division in spousal support, if any of the following applies:

  • If you are married;
  • If you are living in a “marriage like relationship” with someone for at least two years; or
  • If you have a child with someone even if you have not been living in a marriage like relationship for at least two years.

Depending on your individual situation, you may be classified as a “spouse” whether you want it or not. Legal advice at the time of common law separation in British Columbia can save you the emotional turmoil and expense of costly proceedings down the track. Contact Nasser Allan for your free consultation on (604) 620 – 8682.

What Amounts to a Common Law Separation in BC?

Unlike starting divorce proceedings, it may be confusing what amounts to a “common law” separation in BC. However, there is nothing required in law to legally common law separate in BC. Actions which indicate that your relationship with your partner is over, such as moving out of your shared home, no longer sharing the same bed with your partner or behaving in a way that supports the fact that the relationship is over, is all that is required to separate even if you are common law. It is important to remember that both parties do not need to agree on the separation in order for the parties to be “separated”. In the Supreme Court case of H.S.S. v. S.H.D., 2016 BCSC 1300 (CanLII), Dardi J. said:

[40]      It is clear that the law does not require a meeting of the minds with respect to the intention to separate. A physical separation, coupled with one party’s intention to live separate and apart, is sufficientNearing v. Sauer2015 BCSC 58 (CanLII) at para. 54. The legal framework for determining that spouses have lived separate and apart requires that the Court find, first, an intention of one spouse to repudiate or end the marital relationship and, second, action consistent with that intention.

In the case of H.C.F. v D.T.F.,2017 BCSC 1226,  both parties accepted that their relationship had been poor for a very long time. They were not intimate after the birth of their son and they had been living in separate bedrooms for many years. They had not so much as been out for dinner or gone to a movie together for many years. They had also sought marriage counselling, at different times, for many years. Mr. F. relied on an email he had sent in November 2014 unequivocally setting out that the relationship had ended. Mrs. F., argued that she continued to “hold out hope” until April 2015, and she argued that during this period the parties continued to attend social events together, such as skiing in Whistler, with other couples. The court agreed with the husband that the parties were “separated” from November 2014. In making this determination, the court relied on the email sent in November 2014, the fact that Mr. F began purchasing his own groceries, eating on his own and arranging the separation of his social and financial affairs.

At Nasser Allan LLP, we have a depth of experience navigating the end of common law relationships and working with our client’s going through a common-law separation in BC so they can protect and uphold their legal rights. We offer free consultations so that our client’s can determine, without cost, whether we are a good fit for their individual case. Contact us today on (604) 620 – 8682 to book your free consultation.