Separated & living under the same roof


Being separated from a former partner but still living within the same household is not uncommon, especially in times of economic hardship, or in situations where one party to the relationship may have a lower earning capacity, less savings, a disability or some other factor which might hinder their ability to move out or otherwise find independent living arrangements.


Where couples have split up and are looking to undergo property settlement, financing the purchase of two separates homes from the sale proceeds of one is simply not practical for the majority of couples.


Becoming separated from a partner but remaining under the same roof is probably a difficult prospect for many couples to stomach.  What can be especially difficult is that couples who remain living together after separation, but who wish to get divorced, may find that their divorce application is not accepted by the Family Court.


In most cases, if you have separated from a partner but continued to live within the same home during any part of the required 12 months separation period, the Family Court will require additional evidence from you before the divorce will be granted.


This will usually take the form of a written statement with evidence by one or both parties to the relationship.  In some cases, you will also be required to provide an additional statement from an independent supporting witness such as a friend or family member. The contents of this statement may be quite detailed.  To prove to the Court that you are no longer in a relationship, you may be required to talk about sleeping arrangements, household duties, your financial matters, your separated social matters and other topics.  Failure to satisfy the Court that you are truly separated while living under the same roof may lead to your divorce not being granted, or delayed.


In all but the most exceptional of cases, applying for a divorce while being separated under the same roof will require additional work above the usual work required to prepare a divorce application.  Being separated under the same roof may (likely) also have implications for Centrelink or other government entitlements.  If you are thinking about getting divorced, but are unsure about the logistics of remaining separated under the same roof, we recommended that you seek legal advice.


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