Separating from a Marriage or De Facto Relationship

Separation in Australian law is the end of a de facto relationship or marriage. You do not register the separation and it does not have to be something both parties agree to, but the date of separation is relevant in family law. You have to be separated for 12 months before you can legally divorce and it is also relevant for certain property concerns. Seeking family counselling Perth is a good idea for all parties involved. This is an important way for all the members in the family to stay emotionally healthy. With family counselling it leads to healthier interactions at home not just during therapy sessions and helps everyone adjust to the new normal. Not going to family counselling Perth means there is a high risk of dysfunction and behavioural issues in the children and in the adults! With the right lawyers you can get legal advice, start working out some practical concerns and they can also advise you on counselling and mediation options.

Determining the date of separation

When a married couple separate that often leads to divorce. In many cases the date of separation, needed to confirm a year of separation for divorce to start, is clear. When couples separate, one person usually moves out of the residence they share. When parties live together still things are less clear and there is less evidence of a 1- month separation. It is a good idea if you are planning to separate to get some family law advice ahead of time. Sending a text, letter or some other written evidence of your intent to separate is a good idea.

How court determines whether there is a separation

Should the separation be hard to determine then there are a number of things the court will look more closely into to identify the separation date. These include;

  • Did the parties perform domestic chores together or individually, for example, cooking, cleaning, washing and such?
  • Was there any effort to separate the finances after the so-called separation date?
  • What the sleeping arrangements have been: did they sleep separately or still together?
  • Whether there was intimacy still.
  • Were any documents signed or government agencies informed about the separation?
  • Did family and friends know the couple had separated?

What separation means

As mentioned the date matters for applying for a divorce and for certain property concerns. The court will consider the contributions each person made when looking at how they are going to divide the assets. Any assets that were earned after the separation are treated differently from those gathered during the relationship. When the date of separation has no ambiguity it makes the division of assets easier to deal with.

Lawyers will offer the same family law advice concerning de facto matters as where separation law stands. But there are two additional points that are relevant. When a person is looking for property adjustment from the other ex-partner as a de facto, then that must be applied for within two years for the separation. Also, that relationship had to have lasted for at least two years for an application for property adjustment to count. There are very limited circumstances where that does not have to be the case, and your lawyer can tell you if that applies to you.