Oshawa Family Lawyer Helping Same-Sex Couples

In the past decade, Canadian law has expanded the rights of same-sex couples, including their right to marry under the Civil Marriage Act, and their subsequent right to divorce.  The law also recognizes same-sex common-law relationships for couples who choose not to marry but who live in a continuous long-term relationship together. Much like opposite sex-couples, same-sex couples who are planning to move in together, or who want to get married should be aware of the legal and financial implications of doing so, and should consider consulting with a family lawyer to begin planning for their future. At Borden Family Law in Oshawa, our family and divorce lawyers have helped countless clients with their same-sex family law matters.  Our clients appreciate our team’s ability to put them at ease. We work hard to ensure our clients are continuously informed throughout the process and fully understand their rights.

Separation and Divorce for Same-Sex Couples

The law in Ontario treats same-sex married couples the same way as opposite-sex couples going through a separation or divorce.  If you are legally married to your same-sex partner and would like to terminate your relationship, you will need to separate before you can file for divorce.  Although separation usually begins when a married couple lives in separate homes, this is not always the case: you may live “separate and apart” by cohabiting in different rooms, for example.  Except in the instance of cruelty or adultery (which must be proven), you must be separated for a minimum of one year before you can file for divorce in Ontario.

Same-Sex Divorce for Non-Residents

Canada has been a popular “destination wedding” spot for same-sex couples.  One issue that non-resident couples have run into is that, while they were allowed to legally marry in Canada, the law did not allow them to file for divorce in Canada.  To complicate matters further, because many non-residents came from locations where same-sex marriage is not recognized, they were unable to file for divorce in their own jurisdiction.  Fortunately, the laws in Canada have now been updated to allow non-resident same-sex couples to divorce in Canada.  At Borden Family Law, our team of knowledgeable family lawyers will help you navigate the Canadian legal system and file for divorce if you are a non-resident same-sex couple who married in Canada.

Cohabitation Agreements for Same-Sex Couples

In Ontario, a couple is legally considered to be in a common-law relationship if they have lived together continuously for a period of not less than three years.  The law is different for couples who have children together.  In that instance, the parents must only need to be in a “relationship of some permanence” to be considered common-law. If you are in a same-sex common-law relationship, it is important to note that when it comes to property, common-law spouses do not always share the same rights as married couples, and it is important to understand what those differences are.  For example, when a married couple seeks divorce, the couple’s assets are divided equally, regardless of who owned what.  In contrast, common-law spouses terminating a relationship will each keep whatever is in his or her name, with no equalization. A cohabitation agreement, which is essentially a prenuptial agreement for common-law couples, can help clarify what will happen in the event of a relationship breakdown in a common-law same-sex relationship.  At Borden Family Law, we have prepared many cohabitation agreements for same-sex couples; as a result, we are both knowledgeable and efficient in this area.

Contact Our Experienced Oshawa Family Lawyers for Guidance with Same-Sex Marriage & Divorce and Related Matters

At Borden Family Law, our knowledgeable and compassionate family and divorce lawyers provide same-sex clients with outstanding advice and guidance on both proactive planning for their futures, as well as representation when family disputes become contentious. To discuss your rights, call us at 905-576-6090, or contact us online. Ask about our flat fees and bundled services.