It can be difficult to prove your legal status if you live under the same roof as your partner but are effectively separated. However, in Australia, there are certain steps that you must take in order to demonstrate that you are indeed separated. This will allow you to go ahead with divorce proceedings (if that's what you want to do) without any potential confusion. But how should you proceed?
Establish Evidence of Separation
The first step is to establish evidence that demonstrates your separation from your partner. This can include documents such as financial papers, emails or letters from both parties, and any other paperwork that indicates a lack of involvement with each other. It's also important to note that if you have a joint bank account, it should be closed, and all funds should be divided equally between both people. Additionally, even if you live in the same residence, there should be at least two distinct bedrooms with separate possessions for both yourself and your partner. You will also want to ensure that any bills or expenses are handled separately. This can further demonstrate individual autonomy.
Communicate Your Separation
It's important to communicate with family members and friends regarding your relationship status changes, so they know the situation. If possible, try to get written statements from family members or close friends who have witnessed any changes between yourself and your partner since the date of separation. These statements can then be used as evidence in court proceedings if necessary. It's also beneficial for both parties involved to keep a record of their communications regarding their separation (i.e., text messages or emails). This helps build a timeline that may need to be accessed down the road should either party have questions about when or why certain decisions were made during this period of separation.
Your Best Approach
It's best to start off by telling the courts that you are deciding to separate but live in the same place. This is not an entirely unusual situation, and the courts are generally sympathetic to whatever you decide. However, they will want to see clear evidence of your separation, so go through some of the above processes and document everything along the way.
Get Professional Assistance
If you need professional help to put your case together effectively, bring in a family lawyer. They will also be happy to collate and present your documentation to the court if necessary.Share