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Separating when it is impossible to be Separate – Isolation Nation

Separating when it is impossible to separate.

These are strange and unprecedented times. The impact of COVID-19 and the restrictions placed on us by both the state and Federal Government has significantly changed every facet of our lives. Our living, working and parenting arrangements have drastically altered.

Take this blog for example, currently being written whilst a kitten attacks my keyboard and my neighbour plays music much too loud – Times. Have. Changed.

Separating when it is impossible to separate.

Whilst we are seeing significant gains in the national effort to “flatten the curve” it remains unclear as to when restrictions will be lifted, how much those restrictions will be lifted, and what restrictions will still to some degree remain in place. In such an uncertain environment the best we can do is to adapt and soldier on as best we can.

Separating when it is impossible to separate.

The exclusions placed on public outings places a great strain on every household and in addition our marital and de facto relationships. For those in the midst of a relationship breakdown, or those considering separation it may seem difficult, if not impossible to take the necessary steps regarding your separation. The division of property, parenting arrangements for your children and your divorce.

At Watts McCray we are here to work with and assure you that even through these trying times your separation and divorce can be dealt with effectively and efficiently.

Can I even be separated from my partner/wife/husband if we can’t live in separate residences?

The short answer is yes.

Even though it is understandably very difficult, it is possible to be separated and living under the one roof if your relationship has ended irretrievably. It is not uncommon for parties who have separated to remain living under the one roof for various reasons including financial constraints and the care of children.

You are able to deal with both property division and parenting arrangements immediately upon your separation, however, you cannot apply for a divorce until you have been separated for a 12 month period of time.

If you have separated and remained living under the one roof, when you or your spouse file an Application for Divorce, an Affidavit will also need to be filed which explains the circumstances of your separation.

The Affidavit will need to include things such as:

  1. When you and/or your spouse formed a intention to separate and how that intention was communicated to the other;
    1. The reason why you have remained living under the one roof;
    2. The changes in your relationship since separation has taken place. Such changes include but may not be limited the cessation of your intimate relationship, details of how you and your spouse are no longer holding yourselves out to be a married couple for example no longer socialising together and details of separation of domestic duties such as preparing your own meals.

The Court commonly will require corroborative evidence of the details of your separation under the one roof. This is usually done by way of Affidavit of a third party, which details the circumstances and changes in your relationship that they have directly observed.

A child under the age of 18 years cannot give an Affidavit corroborating the circumstances of your separation under the one roof.

Contact Watts McCray for assistance with your Divorce Application, parenting, property and child support matters. As a result of exclusionary travel and social distancing at Watts McCray we have ensured we still have the ability to communicate with you via email, telephone, skype, or facetime to provide you with the service you need. To find out what measures we have taken, read our latest blog post here.

Contact us to organize your first appointment and our friendly team will help you through the process.