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Separation Under One Roof

In the current economic climate it has become increasingly common for parties to separate under the one roof. It is possible to achieve a financial settlement and Divorce Order even if you are living under the one roof.

A Divorce Order is an entirely separate process to property and parenting matters. It is not a pre-requisite to be Divorced for you to file property or parenting proceedings, or to reach an agreement in relation to property or parenting matters.

A Divorce Order is the formal process of separating and once granted allows parties to re-marry should they wish to.

There are two prerequisites for a Divorce and separation:

• That there has been an irretrievable breakdown of the marriage; and
• That the parties have been separated for 12 months or more.

In situations where parties have separated but continued to live under the one roof, the date of separation is when one party has communicated a breakdown of the marriage to the other. This could involve a clear statement of an intention to separate, or one party moving to another room and commencing to live a separate life under the one roof.

If you have separated under the one roof and have been separated for over 12 months, you can file an Application for Divorce. To support your Application the Court requires an Affidavit from the Applicant and a friend or family to prove to the Court that the parties have been separated.

The Affidavits will set out details which include, but are not limited to:

  1. The date of separation and how the parties came to consider themselves separated, i.e. what they said to one another;
  2. The specific dates in which the parties lived under the one roof;
  3. The separation of domestic tasks within the home;
  4. Whether the parties slept in separate bedrooms;
  5. The separation of financial matters;
  6. Attendance at social events separately and not as a couple;
  7. Any conversations the parties may have had with family and friends about the parties separation; and
  8. Any other evidence you may have that supports the fact that the parties have been separated.

Once a Divorce Order has been granted the Order does not become effective until one month and one day after the granting of the Divorce. After this date, parties have 12 months to file for property settlement with the Family Law Courts. For this reason, parties may choose to file an Application for Divorce after property settlement matters have been resolved to allow parties time to negotiate without a time limit of 12 months.

If you have separated under one roof, or would like further advice in relation to filing for a Divorce please visit our ‘Divorce and Separation’ page or contact us for an obligation free chat.

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Accredited Family Law Specialist

Members of our senior legal team are accredited Family Law Specialists. In the legal profession an Accredited Specialist is a practising solicitor who has demonstrated specialised competence in a particular area of law and has been conferred Specialist Accreditation by the Law Society under its Specialist Accreditation Scheme. Edwards Family Lawyers is a highly experienced specialist family law firm that has 3 accredited specialists working out of our offices in Sydney CBD and North Sydney.

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Divorce & Separation

Experienced Divorce Lawyers in Sydney

When married couples separate, there is only one ground for the grant of a Divorce Order, and that is the irretrievable breakdown of the marriage. This is established by the parties being separated for a minimum of 12 months prior to Divorce. In some circumstances, parties can be living under the same roof and still be able to establish this ground.

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Property Settlement

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Edwards Moloney Family Lawyers can assist you and your spouse/partner to come to an agreement in relation to all financial matters and issues arising from the breakdown of a relationship, including the division of all assets and liabilities, spouse maintenance payments, superannuation splitting orders and child support departure Orders.

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Negotiation & Resolution

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Opportunities for negotiation and settlement exist not only before proceedings are commenced, but also after proceedings have been commenced and right up until the time that the Court finally hears and determines the matter. Parties can settle a matter at any time.

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Parenting & Children

Parenting and Children Family Lawyers

The best interests of the children is the paramount consideration when determining the most appropriate and suitable arrangements for the children after a separation. At Edwards Moloney Family Lawyers, we encourage our clients to participate in the counselling or mediation services available to assist them to reach an agreement with their spouse/former partner

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Mediation Services

Mediation Lawyers

Edwards Moloney Family Lawyers offer Mediation Services to assist parties to engage in effective dispute resolution. Our Principal, Frances Edwards, has extensive experience in negotiating settlements in both parenting and property matters, and is a National Accredited Mediator and member of LEADR and IAMA.

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De Facto

De Facto Lawyers

De Facto couples (including same sex couples) who separate after 1 March 2009 have the same rights as married couples. The rights and obligations of couples upon the breakdown of a Marriage or De Facto relationship are now all governed by the Family Law Act 1975. De Facto couples who separated prior to 1 March 2009 are still covered by the old State legislation


We are a leading family law firm in Sydney with over 30 years of award-winning experience in matters relating to complex family law matters. We are a full-service family law firm with a rich history of helping clients with complex property settlements, divorce law, divorce negotiations, child custody and mediation services. Our law firm has a strong focus on providing expert specialist advice relating to Family Law following the breakdown of your marriage or de facto relationship.

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We acknowledge the Cammeraygal and Gadigal people being the traditional owners of the land on which we work and their elders past and present.