The breakdown of a relationship can cause distress, occasionally muddled thinking and cause a person to make impulsive decisions.
It is not necessary for former spouses to stop living together after deciding to separate, and some people may choose to continue living separately under the same roof. However, this may not necessarily work for some separated couples, particularly in situations where there has been domestic violence, or threat of domestic violence, and or where children are involved.
If there has been some form of domestic violence, you must do whatever necessary to protect yourself and your child. Leaving an abusive relationship is particularly hard, but help is available. Domestic abuse is dealt with in the Magistrates’ Court. An Intervention Order can be made against a former spouse to protect you from violence, harassment and intimidation.
For some, living under the same roof with your former spouse can cause conflict and tension whether explicit or conveyed more through silence or coldness. If there are children living in the household, this type of conflict can have a serious impact on them.
If you want to live separately with your child, it may be necessary to formalise custody, visitation and support matters before, or as soon as you move out to avoid accusations of kidnapping. You can negotiate parenting arrangements with your former spouse. If this does not work, you can attend Family Dispute Resolution or as a last resort, initiate Family Court proceedings.
Where one parent is the primary carer, it is often best for that parent to remain in the house with the child. The parent who has to move out without the child should not do so until his or her ability to have meaningful contact with the child is legally protected.
A common misconception is that if you move out of the property, you are giving up your share of the property. This is simply not the case. In determining the outcome of a property settlement, the court will consider each party’s needs and contributions (financial and non-financial).
If you are considering moving out from your home, it is ideal to negotiate parenting and or property arrangements as much as possible before you leave. If you are moving out of a property that is solely in your former spouse’s name, it is imperative that you take certain measures to protect your interest in this property.
We invite you to get in touch with one of our experienced family lawyers on 03 9614 7111 or email@example.com if you are separating and find yourself in a bit of a pickle.