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Separated But Living Under One Roof – What Does This Mean For My Divorce?

In Australia, the only ground for divorce is that the marriage has broken down irretrievably, that is, that there is no prospect of the parties resuming the relationship. This is proved to the Court by the evidence that you and your spouse have been separated for at least 12 months. It is possible to be separated whilst still living under the same roof, however, it may be the case that evidence (in the form of an affidavit) from another person is required to corroborate this.

An affidavit is a written statement of evidence. You must swear or affirm the affidavit before a lawyer or a Justice of the Peace.

If separated under one roof you should include evidence of your separation in your affidavit. The evidence could include:

  • change to sleeping arrangements for you and your spouse
  • reduction in family outings
  • the decline in performing household duties for each other
  • division of finances; for example, separate bank accounts
  • sharing the news of your separation with loved ones
  • why you remained living in the one home
  • whether you have advised government departments such as Centrelink and the Child Support Agency of the change in your relationship status. This could include you attaching to your affidavit the emails or letters you have sent to these departments.

Separation can be a difficult time for those separating and their children. Divorce is the formal legal end of a marriage and it is important to note that divorce is a separate legal process to parenting and property settlement proceedings.

Mahony Family Lawyers are here to help you through the process of filing for a divorce. Please contact us by calling 02 9018 9408 to discuss our fixed fee options for obtaining a divorce.

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