When did my ex and I actually separate?

With the costs of living increasing more and more, it is not uncommon for separated couples to continue to live under the same roof, particularly if there are children involved.

One of the first questions asked by a family lawyer during an initial consultation with any new client will be about the date of separation. This is an important date for several reasons. Firstly, for married couples, it determines when you are able to apply for a divorce. For de-facto couples, it starts a timeline upon which proceedings must be commenced in the Federal Circuit Court for a property settlement without needing to seek leave (permission) from the court.

Many couples mistakenly believe that the date of separation is the date that one of them moves out of the family home. This is not the case and it is not uncommon for couples to separate but continue to live under the same roof for several years.

For family law purposes, the date of separation is taken to be the date one party forms the intention to leave and then acts upon it. This is often the date upon which one party communicates to the other that the relationship is over, however every circumstance is different. It does not matter if you are still living under the same roof, just like committed couples can live in separate households (such as when one party lives away for work).

If you have separated and are living under the same roof, there may be more information that needs to be provided to the Court if wanting to apply for a divorce.

If you and your partner have separated, we can assist you to negotiate and formalise any property or parenting agreements to ensure that your rights are protected and that you retain what you are entitled to.

For an obligation free discussion with one of our solicitors, call us on 1300 768 719.

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