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FAQs

Separation and Divorce

What is a “legal separation”?
Do we have to live in different homes to be considered “separated”?
Are married couples who separate ‘legally divorced’ after living apart for a certain period of time?
If I do my own uncontested divorce, how much will it cost?
We have agreed to divorce and I want to apply myself. What are the grounds for getting a divorce?

What is a “legal separation”?

As soon as you are no longer living together, you are considered separated.  You need not take any further action to make it “legal”. Many people think they must get a court order to be “legally” separated. This is not the case. The law does not require you to have an agreement or a court order to be legally separated.

*For detailed information, please refer to When Couples Separate

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Do we have to live in different homes to be considered “separated”?

No, it is possible for people to live in the same house or apartment and yet live separately if each person leads an independent life. You must no longer perform any functions normally expected of a married couple such as eating and socializing together. This includes having separate bedrooms and not having sexual relations.  The date when you commenced living separate and apart is your “date of separation”.  This is important to know if you plan on later divorcing, as couples must be separated at least one year before they are able to divorce. 

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Are married couples who separate ‘legally divorced’ after living apart for a certain period of time?

A couple is not divorced until they go through legal divorce proceedings.

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If I do my own uncontested divorce, how much will it cost?

If you are using the guide Doing Your Own Divorce in New Brunswick to petition for an uncontested divorce, the cost should be between $125 and $225.  The basic cost of the divorce includes the $100 fee for filing the Divorce Petition, the $10 fee for the Clearance Certificate and the $7 fee for the Certificate of Divorce.  If you are receiving assistance under the Family Income Security Act or from domestic legal aid, there is no filing fee for a divorce application. Other costs may include hiring a lawyer for specific questions or tasks, paying for certified copies of birth and marriage certificates, purchasing pre-printed forms, photocopying of documents, hiring someone to serve documents, and fees for a Commissioner of Oaths.

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We have agreed to divorce and I want to apply myself. What are the grounds for getting a divorce?

The only ground for divorce is breakdown of the marriage. There are three ways that you can show your marriage has broken down – separation, adultery or cruelty.  The most common grounds, especially for an uncontested divorce, is “separation” which means living “separate and apart” for at least one year immediately before the court decision.  In fact, 97% of New Brunswickers use separation as proof of marriage breakdown. If you wish to use mental cruelty or adultery as a ground you should speak to a lawyer.
 

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