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Divorce & Family Law This forum is for discussing any of the legal issues involved in your divorce.

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Old 08-06-2008, 12:41 PM
ANewLife ANewLife is offline
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Default Unusual situation

I know I will need a lawyer to sort this situation out correctly, however, thought there may be some experienced people on this site that could provide initial guidance...

The facts:

1. My wife and I were married 16 years and have 'emotionally' split - meaning we both agree we are no longer in a marriage. This has occurred progressively over the last 2 years where we separated bedrooms (haven't slept together in that time) and over the last 6 months started to cultivate our own friends and potential relationships (although to the best of my knowledge neither of us have an intimate relationship yet)

We both agree the marriage is over and have both stopped wearing wedding rings etc.

2. We have agreed to continue sharing the house - have peace on separate floors for ourselves, both for financial reasons and to co-parent our children (8 and 13).

My issues:

1. It seems we cannot be declared 'legally separated' while we continue to share the home...is this true?

2. I wish to have a lawyer write a contract for us to abide by. This may include:

a: some financial type agreement (ie my ex must obtain a job - she was a stay at home Mum) and I will continue to pay expenses (i.e. only provider in the past) and determine how we will create a portion of monies for ourselves etc.

b: some guidelines for our behaviour with our relationships, ie we will not have a partner spend the night unless the home is completely empty (ie no kids and no former spouse present) and must be gone before others return and how we accommodate having dates and friends over for dinner for example - certainly not doing any of this yet, but after a year or two may wish to!

c: we need to set a date as to when we have declared ourselves 'estranged' or separated (say 1 August 2008) so that future calculations when an actual divorce occurs can be based on this date (ie for alimony and similar impacts).

My Questions:

Does anyone know if such a contract would be legally binding (if written by a lawyer)?

Would the government consider us separated from a taxation point of view (without having to physically close off sections of the house and make it into a duplex)?

We do not see having separate residences as a solution ($ wise or for the kids) and know that we are both happy with this situation and getting on with our lives - so there is a positive influence within the home (not negative) and we will explain the situation to our kids so they are very clear (once we address some of the above issues).

I would hate to have to physically separate, just for legal and tax purposes as that does not suit us.

My main concern would be obtaining acknowledgment that the marriage has ended - as I do not wish to be considered married form a financial/tax point of view and also with respect to a future partner (i am the male and I thing females may feel the situation is too weird?).

We are being very mature about it and getting along better than ever as co-parents/roommates/friends than we did as a married couple - so want to maintain this position if possible.

Any and all advice or references to published information about this type of arrangement would be appreciated.
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Old 08-07-2008, 06:29 AM
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by ANewLife
My Questions:

Does anyone know if such a contract would be legally binding (if written by a lawyer)?
Yes.
I have a cousin, when they were no longer living as husband and wife, but sharing their home as they could not afford two separate homes, they had an agreement drawn up, and submitted their documents to CCRA, and from the date they chose, began filing tax forms as separated. Once they received their divorce they sent a copy to CCRA and claimed divorced.

You would also have to have a sworn document that you are not living as husband and wife but rather room mates for the government. It was a little sticky for a while to get it all cleared up with the government, but with all the legal documents they managed to do so without too much emotional stress.
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Old 08-07-2008, 08:12 AM
ANewLife ANewLife is offline
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Default Thanks

Thanks very much for this response...exactly the type of information I was looking for and now I know how to go about getting this done.

It'll take a while, however, I will update this thread when done etc, so in case others are in this position, there will be some information here about the process and I will also be able to provide a 'template' version of what we draw up for others to use
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