Separation under one roof
It is possible for you and your spouse to be separated but to continue to live in the same home during the 12 months before applying for divorce. This is known as 'separation under the one roof'. If this applies to your situation, you need to prove to the Court that you were separated during this time. You do this by lodging up to three affidavits along with your Divorce Application.
If you are doing a sole application, you must file an affidavit yourself along with an affidavit by an independent person; such as a family member, friend or neighbour.
If you are doing a joint application, you must each file a separate affidavit. While technically an independent (family member, friend or neighbour) affidavit is not required in this situation it is generally considered a good idea as well.
In your affidavit, you need to prove that there has been a change in the relationship, gradual or sudden, demonstrating you and your spouse have separated.
You will need to explain:
- any change in sleeping arrangements
- any reduction in shared activities or family outings
- any decline in performing household duties for each other
- any division of finances; for example, separate bank accounts
- any other matters that show the marriage has broken down; for example, if you have notified family and friends of your separation
- why you continued to live in the same house following separation and what intention, if any, you have of changing the situation
- living arrangements you made for any child of the marriage under 18 years during the time you were living under one roof
- what government departments you have advised of your separation if you receive a government benefit; for example, Centrelink or the Child Support Agency. If correspondence has been received from these departments about your separation, attach a copy to your affidavit.