Separated Under One Roof: Everything You Need to Know

Law Blog

If you and your spouse separate, you can choose to live under one roof. This arrangement can help your children adjust as you and your spouse sort out the details of your divorce.

You can learn more about separation under one roof from this guide.

How Does Australian Law Define Separated Under One Roof?

Generally, the courts consider this a situation where two people no longer live together as a married couple. This arrangement can be an informal setup, or it can be made official through the courts.

Remember that separation under one roof doesn't mean you are divorced. You can only file for divorce with the court if you've been legally separated for 12 months.

If you want to file for divorce, you need to prove that you actually live separately. Be sure to liaise with an experienced family lawyer who can draft an affidavit on your behalf. In your affidavit, your lawyer can include the following:

  • A statement that you and your spouse have been separated for at least 12 months
  • Details of any attempts you have made to resolve the issues between you
  • The arrangements you have made for the care of your children

If the court requires more information, your case may be adjourned to give you time to submit additional documents.

What Are the Financial Arrangements During Separation?

You and your spouse will need to organise your financial affairs while living under the same roof. For instance, you can agree on who gets to pay the mortgage, bills and other living expenses. You will also need to figure out how to divide your joint assets and debts.

Your lawyer may recommend a separation agreement that sets out the financial arrangements right off the bat. The courts can enforce this written document if you later decide to file for divorce.

Additionally, the court can rule on your financial arrangement if you and your spouse cannot agree on the matter. If this happens, make sure you contact a family lawyer who can represent your interests in court.

Why Should You Consider Separation Under One Roof?

There are many benefits of separation but under one roof. You can benefit from such an arrangement in the following ways:

  • You can keep your family home
  • You can continue to share parenting duties
  • It can be less expensive than maintaining two households

While there's an upside to this living arrangement, you need to liaise with a competent family and divorce lawyer. Depending on the facts of your case, they can tell you whether such an arrangement can affect your divorce proceedings.


11 March 2022

Marriage doesn't have to be a life sentence

No one gets married planning to get divorced, but by the time I see them it's pretty obvious why they are getting divorced. When a marriage is beyond repair I'm there to fight for my clients right's under family and property law and to get them the best deal I can possibly negotiate. Even if you feel like your case is messy or complicated, I can guarantee in my time as a lawyer I have seen and heard worse things! This site has a collection of useful articles and links on developments and case law in the Family Court of Australia.