Can I leave without a separation agreement/ I am Canadian


#1

I guess I am asking two question here and I thank you so much in advance for this forum and how helpful your staff has been.

I have been living with an alcoholic for about 10 years, we have been married for 29 years. It has got to the point that I am going nuts in the evenings and weekends. It is not bad all the time but at least a few nights a week I get way too worked up. Not violent or yelling and screaming just that huge ball of stress in my chest. It is not good for me. Point being that it is not physically dangerous, I just can’t take the stress anymore. Sometimes I honestly think I am going to have some sort of breakdown.

That said my question is, can I just leave and then try and work out a separation agreement from outside or am I better to stick it out until I have been in to see a lawyer and have some sort of papers drawn up? I can stick it out if I need to (although I get a guilt twinge thinking of living there and planning an escape at the same time) or maybe try and be out evenings or away weekends until I get things settled. I would not be leaving her with the bills or in financial dire straits, she makes much more money than I do. I would continue to pay bills the same way until things are worked out. Our children live at home temporarily but they are 22 and 25 and just off for this semester.

Secondly, we are Canadian and here for the past 17 years on work visas and have been getting ready to apply for citizenship. Can we get divorced here and would it take into account retirement assets in Canada?

Thank you


#2

In North Carolina, you certainly don’t have to have an agreement in place before you leave. Although, leaving hastily, or without an agreement in place does present some difficulties.

That being said, I don’t know whether the law in Canada would treat you leaving without an agreement differently. Also, as far as the jurisdiction question goes, you will need to speak with a Canadian attorney. As I practice in North Carolina, I cannot speak to how Canada treats those seeking divorces while there on work visas.