Many couples decide to separate and continue to live together for their entire separation or part thereof. This is often because of financial constraints or to minimize the disruption to the lives of the children. This is termed âseparation under one roof.â
It is important that you and your spouse agree on a date of separation and have it in writing, even if you record this via email or text message. Living with your spouse during the separation period does not nullify your separation, provided you do not decide to get back together for more than 3 months. In the event that you to decide to live together as husband and wife for 3 months or longer your 12 month separation period starts over.
When submitting your application for divorce the court needs to be satisfied that despite your living arrangements there has been a change in the nature of your relationship since separation. This evidence must be submitted to the court in the form of an Affidavit. For example living in separate bedrooms, not sharing bank accounts, starting new relationships all of which demonstrate that you are no longer a couple. In certain instances you may require supporting documents from a third party.
Separation under one roof is more common than you may think and for many people it does work but it by no means is a hurdle to obtaining a divorce.