Separation is when you and your partner stop living together as partners or spouses. This generally happens where the relationship ends with no reasonable likelihood of resuming. This would occur where one party moves out of the shared home, or be separated under the same roof. In the case of living under the same roof, this may require the spouses to provide further evidence of their separation if they sought a divorce in the future.
Separation is a major event in anyone’s life. This life change can be a challenging and difficult time for the couple and their family. Separation may bring about sadness, grief, anger, and denial. It is important to remember that everyone will process and deal with separation differently.
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What should you do once you Separate?
We recommend seeking legal advice when you separate so you can understand your rights and obligations in these difficult times.
You should attempt to reach some agreements with your spouse/ex-partner about living arrangements for yourselves and for children (if applicable), how you will support yourselves, how rent or mortgages will be paid, and what will happen to bank accounts and property held jointly.
We understand that sometimes it will not be possible to reach an agreement with your spouse/ex-partner, and we are here to help. Our lawyer specialized in separation, can assist you in evaluating your circumstances and recommending a fair and just agreement between the parties. We can facilitate communication between you both to negotiate an amicable arrangement.
Timeframes for Married couples and De Facto relationships
If you are married and you have now separated from your spouse, there is no time limit to make an application for divorce.
If you are in a de facto relationship and you have separated with your partner, you must apply to the court for a property/financial settlement within 2 years of the breakdown of your relationship. An application made after two years requires leave of the court, and there is no guarantee this will be granted.
What can you do if you are struggling with your Separation?
It is important to lean on those closest to you to help deal with your feelings about your separation. It is also important to seek professional assistance through this process. Some key services include:
- Family Relationship Centers
- Reconciliation counselling
- Separation counselling or mediation
- Legal Advice from a Family Lawyer
At The Family Lawyer, we appreciate separation is a deeply difficult and confronting time. We take the time to listen and understand your circumstances, and provide you with advice regarding your family law issues.