There are a lot of people in Australia who are living in the same house as their former partner even though they are separated. This can be a very difficult situation because there can be a lot of emotions involved, especially when it comes to money and legal issues. This is why we thought it would be useful to put together a brief article about this subject. If this is something that you’re interested in learning more about, read on as we break down several key areas of note, when living together even after being separated.

Legal History

The 1975 Family Law Act provides a way for separated couples to be recognised as single while living in the same residence. Section 49 of the act says that if a couple has separated, they can file for divorce after living apart for 12 months. If the couple has only been married for two years, they may need to go through marriage counselling before they can file for divorce.

Legal Definition of “Separated”

The court will look at various factors to decide if the couple has separated, even if they live under the same roof. These factors can include sleeping in separate bedrooms, eating meals separately, no longer engaging in sexual relations, and not participating in activities together. If the court is convinced that the couple has separated, even if they live under the same roof, then the marriage or relationship is considered over.

Process of Separation

If you and your spouse or partner share a dwelling, there are ways to show that you are separated. One way to do this is to file for divorce on the grounds that the marriage is irretrievably broken. The irretrievable nature of the marriage is often shown through the parties living separately for 12 months or more.

If you want to get a divorce in Australia, you can do so by filling out some paperwork online on the Family Court website. If you and your partner are separated but still living under the same roof, you’ll need to establish the date of your separation, as well as provide some additional evidence.

In order to begin divorce proceedings, one person must file an affidavit. A second supporting affidavit must be filed by a third party. If the couple is making the application jointly, both people must file an affidavit. The same is true if those involved require a financial split of property and assets that were collected during their relationship.


We hope this article proves to be useful when it comes to shedding some light on this process. Couples who are separating but living under the same roof can take several measures to show that they have separated. For example, they can divide their assets, have separate bank accounts, and lead very independent lives. They will need to present an affidavit to the court that shows there has been a change in the marriage and that they have separated. In the affidavit, they should address things like sleeping arrangements, changes in shared activities, division of finances, and why they continue to live under the same roof despite the relationship breaking down.

Springfield Legals is a reliable firm if you’re looking for family lawyers with expertise in this course. We specialise in family law, property and business conveyancing, income protection, and succession planning. Contact us now!