Moving Provinces Post-Separation: What Are the Implications?

March 21, 2017

Separated couples have all kinds of living arrangements, ranging from both spouses staying in the family home, to “nesting”, to one or both of them moving out permanently. Some people even end up moving to another province after a relationship ends.  

Where separated spouses live in different provinces, this can impact how their family law issues relating to property, support and divorce are resolved. If you and your ex now live in different provinces, here are a few things to consider.

Property Division

If you moved to British Columbia from another province in Canada, such as Alberta, you may be able to start a court proceeding here to divide the property and debt owned by you and your former spouse. However:

Child and Spousal Support

If you have moved to British Columbia and you want to seek an order for child or spousal support against your ex who lives in another province, you need to follow BC’s Interjurisdictional Support Orders Act (“ISOA”). The ISOA sets out a simple – but perhaps unexpected – process for seeking support orders against a person who lives elsewhere:


If all you are seeking from the court is a divorce, the rules are a bit simpler: you can ask the court for a divorce in any province you or your spouse have lived in for at least one year.


The law in this area can be complex, with many variables to consider.  This post deals with only a few of the issues that a person who has moved provinces post-separation might need to consider – for example, moving when you have young children should be approached very carefully.  

Ultimately, you and your lawyer will need to take time to work through all the variables to be sure you proceed in the way that is right for you.

Have questions about how your post-separation move affects your family law issues? Contact us today to see how we can help.