COVID-19 – Couples separating under one roof

There’s no question that separating from your partner can be expensive. There may be costs involved in moving house, separating your finances, getting legal and financial advice, not to mention the reality of an overall reduced household income.

With the uncertainty surrounding job security with the corona virus or CoVID-19 crisis, many people may be thinking that they simply can’t afford to move into a separate house. Instead, they may decide to separate under one roof.

When partners separate, sometimes they will continue to live in the same house for a period of time due to financial costs associated with separation. Some people may continue living under one roof for days, weeks, months, or even years after separating.

To separate under one roof, you will need to start living as though you are separated, even if you continue to provide some household assistance to each other such as cooking meals or cleaning the house. Living separately might include –

  • a change in sleeping arrangements, such as moving into a different bedroom
  • a reduction in shared activities or family outings
  • telling friends or family that you have separated
  • a decline in performing household duties for each other
  • a separation of finances, for example using separate bank accounts
  • spending time with the children separately from your former partner
  • notifying Government departments such as Centrelink that you are separated

If you intend to later apply for a divorce, it will be important to tell people that you are separated and the reasons why you need to stay under one roof for the time being. If the period that you live under one roof will form part of the 12 month separation necessary to apply for a divorce, you will need to provide evidence (that is, an Affidavit) from a friend or neighbor which supports your assertion that you separated.

To talk about separation under one roof, or how the coronavirus or COVID-19 crisis may affect your family law matters, please contact us or call one of our family lawyers on 3252 0011. During this time we are offering initial consultations by telephone or videolink.

For more information, including access to legislation, forms or publications mentioned in this fact sheet:

Like this article?

Share on facebook
Share on Facebook
Share on twitter
Share on Twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on Linkdin
Share on email
Email it to your friend