Note: The information in this section applies to people who are married, and separating from their spouse. If you were living with a partner, but not married to them, you may find helpful information under the 'Common law' section of this site.
You are considered to be separated from your spouse if the two of you are no longer acting as a married couple. Usually this means that you are no longer living under the same roof. Sometimes, though, a separated couple will still live in the same household, but will have separate areas for sleeping, and will not share in daily activities, like meals, together. This arrangement may be necessary because of child-care or money issues. Whether or not you are considered to be ‘separated’ in this situation will depend on all of the facts.
Some people think they need a 'legal separation' - a written separation agreement - to be separated from their spouse. You do not have to get anything in writing to be separated, and you do not need to tell the court that you are separated from your spouse.
If you are separated, you can apply to the court to get a court order for issues like parenting arrangements, child support, or spousal support. You can also have a separation agreement written by a lawyer. You do not need to have a court order or a separation agreement in place in order to apply for a divorce, when that time comes.
If you are separating from your partner, or are involved with, or going to be involved with, the court, it is always a good idea to speak with a lawyer. Click here for information about legal support and advice options in Nova Scotia, including no- and low-cost services.