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If I move out of the house, will it be clear that we are separated?

One spouse moving out of the home is often sufficient to establish legal separation in British Columbia, but it is not a guarantee. Cases do exist where a court has determined that spouses continue to be in a marriage-like relationship even though they no longer reside in the same residence. Difficulties in determining a date of separation can also arise where one party has already been residing in a second residence, say for example for out of town work.

A finding that the relationship ended at a later time can have the effect of extending the period for which you could be liable for your spouse’s debt, changing the assessment of what property is considered family property, and delaying the start of the two-year time period during which non-married spouses may seek various property remedies against you.

If you have ceased living with someone who you lived with for two or more years, and that relationship was a relationship that could be characterized as marriage-like, certain forms of continuing relationships with that person could leave you vulnerable. If this sounds like your circumstances, seek legal advice.

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