3. Live separately

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Family Law - Separation and divorce
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CLEO (Community Legal Education Ontario / Éducation juridique communautaire Ontario)
Ministry of the Attorney General
Ministry of the Attorney General

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How do I legally separate from my partner?
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3. Live separately

Once you decide to separate, you or your partner may move out of your home. But you don't need to live in different homes to legally separate.

You can "live separate and apart under the same roof". This means you both live in the same home but you don't do things together any more, such as sleep, go out, cook, or eat together.

You might decide to live in the same home because it's easier to care for the children together or because it's too expensive to move out.

Whether you and your partner can live separate and apart in the home, even on a temporary basis, often depends on:

  • how tense things are between you and your partner
  • whether someone can afford to move out or has somewhere else to go
  • safety concerns, including if there has been a history of partner abuse

You should also think about what you want to happen with the home after you and your partner have resolved all of your other issues.

Sometimes neither partner wants to keep the home, or both partners agree that they can't afford the home anymore. Other times, both partners want to live in the home and want the other partner to move out.

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Reviewed: July 31, 2017

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