Under the Family Law Act, you and your ex-partner must have been separated for 12 months before being able to apply for a divorce. However; for a number of reasons, this may not be practical for many people.
In many cases the only option is to continuing living in the same residence as your ex-partner. So at this point you might be thinking “but how can we be separated if we’re still living together”? That’s a great question, and here’s how it works.
If you had to live with your ex-spouse for a period of time during your separation, you will need to provide extra information to the court.
- Your own affidavit
- The affidavit of an independent person (if you’re a sole applicant or if the other party in a joint application cannot file an affidavit).
An affidavit, in this context, is essentially a written and sworn document that outlines a few extra things:
- Why you had to live under the same roof
- Who you told about your separation (government bodies and friends)
- What arrangements were made for any children involved under the age of 18
- Show how you are separated given the circumstances (stopped doing choirs for the other person, didn’t attend events together, separate finances)
- You need to demonstrate how there has been a change in your marriage, and essentially show the court how you were living separate lives under the same roof.
Like all family law matters, it’s important to discuss the nuances of your situation with a lawyer so that you know you’re following the correct procedures and so that you can be confident in your legal decisions.
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