What is required to prove separation?
Separation occurs when the following three elements exist:
- Intention to separate (only one party is required to form an intention);
- Communication that there is a separation (this can be verbal or written);
- Action that shows separation has occurred (one example is when one party leaves the former matrimonial home).
I am living with my partner. Can I be separated?
You can be separated while still living with your ex-partner. This is known as ‘separation under the same roof’.
It is important that you and your ex-partner are living separate lives even though you are living in the same home. For example, the separation of domestic duties within the household, not sharing a bed and not socialising together as a couple (apart from parenting activities) will be considered as evidence of separation.
What areas of your life are impacted after separation?
The following factors need to be considered when separating:
- Consider the living arrangements to be put into place for any children. This may include how a change in their routine will affect them on a daily basis.
- Financial arrangements for the care of children should be discussed, such as child support.
- If there is property, it is important to discuss how your assets and liabilities will be divided and, in the shorter term, managed. For example, if there is a mortgage on the property or a car loan on your motor vehicle, how will they be paid?
- Other important factors to consider are notifying government bodies such as Centrelink about your change in status. This may affect entitlements to financial support.