Thinking About Separating?

Are You Thinking About Separating? See What Family Law Options Are Available for You

You can’t stop the future. You can’t change the past. You can become the change you seek in your life and your family’s lives. If you are thinking about separating or if you are talking with your partner about the end of your relationship, we can help you understand your family law options and prepare you to make the best of the situation.

Does Separation Have to be a Court Battle?

Separation can often be a difficult time, however, it doesn’t always have to be.  You can take positive steps to help facilitate your separation and give both yourself and your partner a fresh start.  By making the best of things, things will often turn out better. Our experienced family lawyers can provide you with legal advice and options that can reduce the conflict and help you prepare to deal with the legal issues of separation without having to go to court.

Amicable Separation

Did you know most family separations are completed outside of the courts?  There are many options to resolve your separation including:

  • Engage our experienced family lawyers to undertake negotiation and settlement out of court.
  • Undertake Family Dispute Resolution through Relationships Australia.
  • Attend mediation where we can help you resolve your separation.

Preparing to Separate

Separation can be a difficult time where there is going to be change, feelings of uncertainty and loss, grief for the end of your relationship, and a range of emotions.  Our family lawyers understand this and provide compassion, understanding, and patience. There are going to be choices that need to be made.  We can help make those choices easier by empowering you with information about the law and your options, keeping the costs down, and helping to facilitate the legal elements of separation and divorce.

We can help you avoid court proceedings and resolve your separation through negotiation, mediation, and conflict resolution.  If family law court proceedings do become necessary, our family lawyers are experienced and can help you through the entire family court process.

Your Wellbeing Matters

Sometimes when we are contemplating separation and divorce or going through the process of separation, it can be easy to lose sight of what is really important.  This is usually because of our fear of loss of the relationship, fear of loss to our financial resources, and feeling insecure.  These are normal emotions to feel during separation, divorce, and negotiations. Getting upset about separation is unlikely to get you a better outcome.  In most cases, you will only make the same journey more difficult, costly and it could damage your health and well-being and possibly the health and well-being of your family and other relationships.

If you are feeling overwhelmed, lost, angry, or hurt we recommend going to counselling.  Your wellbeing and health are important and getting a mental tune-up during your separation can make a big difference.

Do You Really Want to Separate?

Relationships are complex and so are our feelings. For some couples, this means that they are not really sure about whether they want to separate or not.  Often financial stress can be a catalyst for separation and divorce. Some couples can consider if their financial wellbeing is affecting their relationship and feelings for each other. If you have questions about whether you actually want to separate, then you should review your relationship and consider your options.

Money and Resources

When a relationship breaks down one of the most stressful issues is often around money and resources. Here are some practical points that you need to consider when separating:

Living Arrangements

When you separate one party can move out or you can remain living together separated under the same roof. If you are not getting along, it would be wise for one party to move out. If someone is going to move out then money will be an important factor. When you were in a relationship, you are likely to have had more money. After separation, you are likely to have less money than before. If one party does not have enough money to pay the mortgage, it would be more practical if that party finds alternative accommodation inline with their resources. At some point, you are going to have to consider the likelihood that someone will need to buy out the other for the former family home or that the family home will need to be sold.


When separating, you will need to tell your children, family members, and friends. Sometimes, children may struggle to understand why you are separating. It is important not to blame your partner or involve the children in adult matters around the separation. Arguing about separation, even if the other party is responsible will not change the circumstances and it will not help to resolve the inevitable separation that needs to happen. Involving children, in these issues will not help the children to adjust to the change in circumstances. In some cases, involving the children in arguments and fights can cause trauma to the children.

After separation, you will need to consider the living arrangements for the children.

Separation and Divorce FAQs

What does the law consider to be ‘separation’?

Separation occurs where one partner has communicated to the other partner whether by action or conduct, that the relationship has ended and the parties act accordingly. Alternatively, separation occurs when both parties have agreed and consented that the relationship is over. You do not need to live separately to have separated. You can live separated “under the same roof”.

How and when can I apply for Divorce?

To apply for a divorce, the marriage must have broken down irretrievably. This means that one or both parties believe the marital relationship has ended permanently. In addition to this requirement, before an application for divorce can be made you must be separated for at least 12 months.

Do time limits apply to property settlement court proceedings?

If you are married you can commence property settlement court proceedings at any time before you divorce. After you divorce, you can only commence property settlement Court proceedings within 12 months of the date of divorce or apply to the Court for permission to commence proceedings out of time but your application may be refused.

De Facto Relationships
Either party can commence property settlement court proceedings within 2 years of separating. You can apply to the Court for permission to commence proceedings after 2 years but your application may be refused.

What if we separated and then got back together and then separated again?

If you separated and then resumed your relationship for less than 3 months before separating again, you can ignore the period when you resumed your relationship. This only applies if the period of resuming the relationship was less than 3 months. If you got back together multiple times or for more than 3 months, you can only count the period from your last separation as the date of separation.

Contact Us for a Free Case Evaluation

If your ready to take the next step, lets chat about how we can help to get your life back on track. Call us at: 1800 572 122 to arrange an informal chat. We are here to help every step of the way. Please note that My Legal Crunch does not provide legal aid services.