Separating from your partner while still living in the same house (known as separation under the one roof) is common and can happen for several reasons. Some reasons include:
3. Staying together for the children; and
4. One or both parties are unwilling to leave.
Many couples may have no option other than to remain separated under one roof. This has also been magnified during the coronavirus pandemic. For example, one or both parties may be out of work, childcare arrangements may necessitate the parties staying in the one home or there may not be any other accommodation options. Moving would prove especially difficult, particularly during the periods of stricter lockdown measures.
This article provides guidance around managing through a separation under the one roof.
The most important thing to remember is that you don’t need to live in a home with your ex-partner if it’s not safe to do so. If you are being subjected to family violence, seek safety first and if you are in immediate danger, call 000.
Further information and resources in relation to your options can be found in our article “Family violence and support services”.
Before you decide to separate from your partner you should consider the following:
If you were married, the period you have been separated is used to determine when you can get a divorce. If you were in a de facto relationship, the period you have been separated is used to determine the date by which you must apply for property settlement.
The separation date may also be relevant for things such as an application to Centrelink for the payment of benefits.
Sometimes there will be a disagreement about the actual date of separation, especially where the parties are still living together. A few days or maybe even months might not make too much of a difference to the legal outcomes.
However, if it’s necessary to determine the date of separation, some of the relevant considerations may be:
Separating from your partner can be a hard time and navigating feelings like loss, sadness, anger and uncertainty can lead to a stressful or tense home environment. The following suggestions may help to keep things calmer around the house:
We can help you find out where you stand and ensure you’re fully informed about your rights and entitlements after separation.
We will help you with:
This article is of a general nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice. If you require further information, advice or assistance for your specific circumstances, please contact Emera Smith.