Living Under One Roof with an Ex: Legal Pitfalls

Divorce comes with a lot of emotional strain. This may come with factors such as legal proceedings and financial disagreements. Such strain may only be increased if the couple chooses to separate under one roof.

For some separated couples, living under the one roof may be convenient in the short term, but can cause legal implications. It is not generally advised for ex-couples to remain living together as this may lead to further issues and take a toll on the emotional and psychological wellbeing of either party.

However, we do acknowledge that these circumstances may occur. So here is some information to make you feel more prepared for this situation.

Legal Pitfalls - Property Settlement

One of the most important legal pitfalls that may arise is determining the actual date of separation, and parties may be in dispute over this. 

  1. De Facto couples. De Facto couples must commence a property settlement within two (2) years of separation. 
  2. Married couples. Married couples must have been separated for at least one (1) year prior to applying for a divorce. The separation date may also affect property settlement matters, where either of you have sold or gained assets prior to separation.
Separating under one roof - legal advice

If you are separating under one roof, you should seek legal advice as soon as possible. The lawyer will help you navigate the changes behind the below proceedings:

Proving separation under one roof

While you do not have to reside in separate properties to get divorced, you will have to provide evidence of your separation. This may include:

  • Informing family/friends of your separation
  • Sleeping in different beds
  • Not attending social gatherings together
  • Message history

Did you know…? The law recognises that ex-partners may be considered separated and still residing at the same place of residence. So separating under the same roof can still be legally sound.


Let us know if there are any other terms you would like to be explained.

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