The end of a relationship can be a very upsetting and confronting time. Important decisions must be made as to how your separation will occur, how assets will be divided and, when children are involved, how care arrangements will occur.

What is ‘separation’ and how do I prove it?

Separation is the act of ending a marriage or a de-facto relationship.

Most commonly, the date of separation can be calculated from the date one party moved out of the home. However, this does not have to be the case.

In many relationships, parenting arrangements or financial pressures play a big role in why couples may choose to separate while remaining living in the same house. In Australia, this is referred to as being ‘separated under one roof’.

There is no need to formally register your separation. However, it may be necessary to contact government bodies, such as Centrelink or Medicare, to update them on your circumstances.

Can we get divorced if we are separated under one roof?

In short, yes – you can.

In order for a divorce application to be approved by the Court, you must be able to satisfy that:

  1. there has been an ‘irretrievable breakdown’ of the relationship, meaning there are no reasonable prospects of reconciliation; and
  2. you and your former partner have lived separated and apart for at least 12 months.

Provided that the above two requirements are satisfied, the Court can grant a divorce.

If you are separated under one roof and want to file for divorce, the Court requires that you (or, if you file jointly, you and your former partner) provide additional evidence to the Court. This is done by way of affidavit, which outlines to the Court that, even if you have remained living under the same roof, you have lived separate lives. The Court also requires affidavit evidence from a third party who can verify that you and your former partner have separated.

How can we help?

Even in the most amicable circumstances, separation is a difficult and emotionally taxing time. Our experienced family law team at Antunes Lawyers are here to assist you through these challenging times and to help you to achieve a quick, cost efficient and smooth resolution to your family law situation.

If you or someone you know is in the process of separation, please contact one of our expert team members on (02) 9964 0499 to discuss your situation.

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The articles on this website comprise legal general information and not legal advice. The general information presented here must not be relied upon without legal advice being sought. In the event that you wish to obtain legal advice on the contents of this general information you may do so by contacting our office or your existing solicitor.