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.

Looking for information about Divorce or International Divorce?

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.


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    Frequently Asked Questions

    You should take steps to discuss your separation with your partner or spouse to make clear that the relationship has ended and there is no likelihood of recommencing the relationship. A separation does not mean that property, parenting, or maintenance matters are dealt with; this is a separate process. It is highly advantageous to seek legal advice regarding these matters to ensure you understand your rights and obligations.

    Yes, separation is not the same as a divorce. Divorce is ending the agreement between two parties which requires an application to the court for an order of divorce. You must be separated for 12 months prior to applying for a divorce.

    If you reconcile with your spouse for less than 3 months it will not affect your ability to file for divorce. However, the period of reconciliation must be added to the period of separation so that it adds up to at least 12 months.

    You can live under the one roof and be separated. However, when it comes time to obtain a divorce or finalise property, children, or maintenance matters, you may be required to provide more evidence in an affidavit showing you lived separate lives. The affidavit must include certain information to prove this to the court. We recommend seeking the assistance of a lawyer to ensure the affidavit is prepared in the appropriate form, sworn, and filed.

    Yes absolutely. If you and your partner or spouse can come to an agreement about separating and other relevant matters, you do not need a lawyer. It is also okay to see a lawyer for initial advice about separating from your partner to ensure you know your rights and obligations. Sometimes this is not possible, and lawyers will be involved to facilitate communication between the parties and try to reach a fair agreement.

    What our clients say…

    • 5 star review  Thank you so much Kristdel! I was stressing about my separation and what it would involve and Kristdel could see i was very anxious so she let her black lab... read more

      thumb Harleigh Bevan
    • 5 star review  Kristdel and the team have just helped me through a very difficult time. They were very professional, experienced and caring. I highly recommend The Family Lawyer.

      thumb Patrick Walsh
    • 5 star review  Kristdel is an amazing lawyer. That’s the vibe I got, from the first initial call. Very happy with the service,, very professional and prompt, no jargon, 100% committed to my... read more

      thumb The Local Gardener The Local Gardener
    • 5 star review  I highly recommend Kristdel for any family related matters. She is super responsive and helpful professional all your family related requirements. I know her and the Family Lawyer firm for... read more

      thumb Chamara Wimalasena
    • 5 star review  I had a really good experience last few times I have visited their office. Great group of people to have on your side.

      thumb Sohail Bangera


    We’re here to help answer your questions. We take great pride in using our expertise for you and look forward to hearing from you.

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