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What Does Separation Mean In Alberta?

The Legal Implications Of Separation

Separation in Alberta generally refers to the legal implications of a couple that are living apart, but they are not legally divorced. The two spouses live in separate places with different residences (some cases are the exception) and have no intention to reconcile and resume marital duties.

Separation can also describe the legal process where one spouse lives apart from the other spouse for a defined period of time (also known as a trial separation) while they try to work on their marriage, and hope to reconcile at the end of the defined time period.

How To Prepare For Separation In Alberta

Alberta couples wishing to live apart should meet to discuss certain matters. This is the first step of the separation process. To accomplish this, it’s helpful if your lawyer can facilitate a mediation session for the couple. In the event that the parties have already communicated with one another such that there are no unresolved issues, your lawyer may choose to initiate the separation agreement.

While some details of separation are covered in a written agreement, others will be decided during an in-person meeting. Your lawyer will prepare a draft for you and your spouse to review. You can then change details that aren’t acceptable to you before agreeing to the proposal.

Separation Does Not Necessarily Mean The Spouses Are Divorced

A separation is very different from a divorce. Even though your spouse is living somewhere else, you are still legally married. If you have separated, you may choose to return to your spouse or to have a divorce. However, if you decide to remain separated for one year without getting back together with your spouse, you can apply for a divorce in the province of Alberta.

Dealing With Children During Separation

It is very important that children feel safe and loved during the whole separation process. He or she will need to know that you are both trying to do what is best for them and work towards a better solution. Even though it might be difficult, try to get along with your child’s other parent as well. The child wants and needs you both in their life.

Listed below are some ways you can help your child feel supported during the separation process:

  1. Listen;
  2. Accept their views;
  3. Brainstorm solutions together;
  4. Find outside help for your child;
  5. Give them responsibilities;
  6. Connect with friends and family; and
  7. Get outside help for yourself.

Staying positive is essential. Your child might not understand why you have to split, but they will interpret your emotions and wonder if you are sad about the result of the separation. The results of separation can cause stress in even the happiest of households and it’s important that everyone stays level-headed during this time. Make sure that you both seek advice from others and attend counseling sessions as well.

Avoiding Conflict And Stress During A Separation Or Divorce

A separation or divorce is a stressful experience with a lot of difficult moments. How you handle those moments can either make the process much easier on you or it can make things far more difficult. It’s important to learn how to cope with these challenges and not let stress and conflict take over your life and ruin your day.

Learn about some common problems faced in Alberta by couples that are separated legally, temporarily, or are going through a divorce by speaking with an experienced lawyer and gaining some clarity about your situation.