“Are we “separated” if we are living apart from each other, but have not yet signed a separation agreement?”
Yes. Your status as a separated spouse does not depend on whether or not you signed a separation agreement. You and your spouse are separated when you are living apart from each other, and one or both of you have made a permanent decision not to resume your life together. There is nothing in our law that requires you and your spouse to live together; therefore, there is nothing in the law that requires you to obtain permission from any authority or person to separate.
Gary Joseph and Michael Stangarone are lawyers with Toronto’s MacDonald & Partners family-law firm.