Living Separated Under One Roof: What It Means and How to Handle It

Living separated under one roof is a unique circumstance that many couples find themselves in after deciding to separate but unable to physically separate due to various reasons. In Queensland, this situation comes with its own set of challenges and legal considerations. In this blog post, we will explore what it means to live separated under one roof, discuss the legal implications, and provide guidance on how to navigate this situation effectively.

Living Separated Under One Roof: What Does it Mean?

The Family Law Act 1975 governs separations. Living separated under one roof refers to a situation where a couple, despite their decision to separate, continues to reside in the same home. This can occur due to a number of reasons but is often due to financial constraints, or to make co-parenting easier to manage. It can also be due to other personal reasons. It is essential to recognise that even though the couple is physically together, from a legal perspective, they are considered separated.

What are the Legal Implications of Living Separated But Under One Roof in Queensland?

While living under one roof is a common occurrence for those going through a separation, the situation can bring with it some challenges and legal implications that need to be understood and navigated carefully.

Some of these challenges and legal implications include:

Establishing Separation

To be recognised as separated under Queensland law, the couple must demonstrate that they have ceased living as a married or de facto couple. Factors such as ceasing joint activities, separate finances, and communication patterns can help establish separation.

Property Settlement

Living separated under one roof can complicate the property settlement process. Seeking legal advice from a family lawyer experienced in Queensland's family law will be crucial to ensuring a fair and equitable division of assets.

Child Custody and Parenting Arrangements

When children are involved, living separated under one roof requires careful consideration of child custody and parenting arrangements. The court's primary focus is the best interests of the child, and it is vital to have a clear plan in place to demonstrate effective co-parenting despite living together.

Can I Get Divorced While Separated But Living Under One Roof?

Yes, you can file for a divorce while separated but sharing a home. Just as in common divorce proceedings, you will need to have been separated for 12 months. However, you will also need to file a supporting affidavit in your application to prove to the court that you are separated.

This affidavit should answer the following questions:

  • Has there been a change in sleeping arrangements (i.e. have you stopped sharing a bed and being intimate)?
  • Have you been attending events or social activities with your ex-partner?
  • Have you told your family and friends about the separation?
  • Has there been a reduction in performing household chores for each other?
  • Has there been a division of finances; for example, separate bank accounts created?
  • What arrangements have you made for your children?
  • Why didn’t any party move out?

Our Tips for Handling Living Separated Under One Roof

Put in Place Good Communication and Boundaries

Establish clear boundaries and effective communication strategies to minimise conflicts and maintain a harmonious living environment. This includes defining personal spaces within the shared residence and setting ground rules for interactions.

Seek Professional Support

It is a good idea to consider seeking the assistance of a family counsellor or therapist to navigate the emotional challenges that may arise from living separated under one roof. Professional support can help manage stress and promote healthy coping mechanisms, especially if you share children.

Document All Important Information

Keep a record of significant events, financial transactions, and communication related to the separation. These records can provide valuable evidence during property settlement negotiations or child custody disputes.

Explore Alternative Living Arrangements

While not always feasible, exploring alternative living arrangements should be considered. This could involve temporarily staying with friends or family, subletting, or seeking rental accommodations.

Obtain Legal Advice

Consulting with an experienced family lawyer is essential to ensure your rights and interests are protected throughout the separation process. At Pullos Lawyers, we can provide tailored advice based on up-to-date Qld legislation and guide you through the legal complexities.

Looking To Separate But Live Under One Roof?

Living separated under one roof presents unique challenges, both emotionally and legally. By understanding the legal implications, establishing effective communication, and seeking professional support, couples can navigate this situation successfully. Pullos Lawyers is here to support you during this difficult time. With extensive experience in family law, we offer a range of services to assist you in various aspects of your separation journey. From divorce and property settlement to child support and parenting arrangements, our team of dedicated family lawyers will provide expert guidance and solutions tailored to your specific needs. Contact Pullos Lawyers today on (07) 5526 3646 or via our contact form to schedule a consultation and discuss your situation.