At Dimocks Family Lawyers, we understand that the period following a separation, in most cases, will be an emotional time for you. Should you require the support of professionals other than a lawyer, we can put you in touch with people whom we trust.
What date did you separate?
Your separation lawyer will certainly ask you, “When did you separate?” Try to remember the date that you separated from your partner, just in case it becomes an issue.
Providing an accurate date of separation can be important in both property proceedings and applications for divorce:
1. In order to be granted a divorce, you and your spouse must be separated for a period of more than 12 months; and
2. If you are in a de facto or same-sex relationship, you have 2 years from the date of separation to make a property claim against your partner.
The date of separation is also important in a property claim, as the contributions you make towards your relationship continue from the time of your separation until the final hearing of your matter, which can take 2-3 years. You should be aware that property that you acquire post-separation will generally be included in the pool of assets available for distribution between you and your partner.
Am I separated?
Essentially separation means the end of a relationship when you and your partner no longer continue sharing a life together.
If there is ever a dispute about the date of separation, the questions that will be asked, in working out if separation has occurred, include:
1. Were you continuing to perform domestic duties for each other?
2. Did you continue going out together socially?
3. Did you tell family and friends that you were separated?
4. Did you sleep together in the same room, after the asserted date of separation?
5. Were you financially dependent on one another?
6. Were any government departments, such as Centrelink or the ATO, notified of the separation?
It is also important to know that you can be separated while living under the same roof as your partner. Physical separation is, therefore, one, but not the only, criterion in establishing that you are separated from your partner.
If you are separated, obtaining legal advice from a family lawyer as early as possible is vital and ensures that in the short-term, your interests are not prejudiced.
If you have recently separated and need assistance, contact our office and book your initial conference.