If you live in Brisbane and are going through a separation our highly trained lawyers can be of assistance. Read on for answers to some common questions about separation.

Can a couple be separated if they continue to live in the same house?

Even though parties are living in the same residence, basic requirements for separation can exist. A party must be able to demonstrate a total break with the marital relationship and this can be shown by some or all of the following:

  • Ceasing of sexual relations and sleeping in separate bedrooms;
  • No longer socialising together;
  • No longer sharing meals or other activities together;
  • Giving the impression to family, friends and neighbours that the relationship is no longer continuing.

Why is separation important?

If parties separate certain issues arise such as who is to be the primary caregiver of the children, who are they to live with and how much time are they to spend with the other party.

If the parties cannot agree they must attend mediation through, for instance, a Family Relationship Centre to endeavour to resolve the dispute before they can go to Court. However one party might dispute that the relationship has broken down and it is then for the other party to prove separation has occurred. This may require evidence from a third party such as a friend, family relation or neighbour.

The issue of separation is also important to resolve property division disputes and if one party disagrees that separation has occurred, the other will have to prove it in the course of proceedings in a Court. This is a fairly unusual situation.

Time Limits for Separation

Finally, although parenting and property proceedings can occur soon after separation occurs, if the parties want to divorce they have to wait one year from the date of separation.

Sometimes a dispute can arise with an Application for Divorce is brought because the Respondent disputes the date of separation.

An Application for Divorce can only be filed after the parties have been separated for two years. If they have have contined to reside in the same property then the Applicant will have to demonstrate that while they continued to live in the same place there has been a total breakdown in the marital relationship and prove some or all of those matters referred to in paragraph one. If they have lived apart for two years the total breakdown of marriage is presumed.

Where parties separate having lived in a defacto relationship the Family Law Act requires that they must take action in a Family Court within two years of separation if they have not resolved their property iussues before then.

Separating married couples must apply to the Court within one year of the divorce if they have not resolved their property division dispute.

Professional separation lawyers assisting couples across Brisbane

For separation lawyers in Brisbane get in touch with Terry Anderssen. Call 07 3350 4417 for all matters relating to separation law, as well as the areas of wills and estates, conveyancing and business law.

The material in this publication contains no advice and provides a general guide and information only. Readers should not act on the basis of any material in this publication without obtaining specific expert, professional advice about their own particular situation.

Terry Anderssen Solicitor expressly disclaims any liability whatsoever to any persons with respect to any action taken in reliance on the contents of this publication.

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