"If you have separated, or are thinking of separating, our experienced family lawyers can advise you about your rights and entitlements in family law."

We understand that separation is an enormously stressful time for everyone involved. You will need to know how family law works, and what it means for your situation. We give you practical advice in a way that gives you a real understanding of what to expect, and how to work towards the best solution.

If you have already separated, it is important that you see us as soon as possible so we can help you deal with the impact on your finances, children and lifestyle.

If you are thinking of separating, seeing us before you separate can give you more options and, if you do separate, help avoid complications and make the process smoother and easier.

Frequently Asked Questions

Separation is the point at which a relationship between spouses or de facto partners ends.

Sometimes people disagree about the date of separation. Usually this will not be a problem, but sometimes the date of separation can be relevant to how property is divided.

If there is a dispute about the date of separation and it is necessary for the Court to make a decision about this, the Court will consider a range of factors including:

  • What the parties said to each other about the relationship being at an end and when those comments were made
  • When parties told other people, including children, that the relationship had ended
  • When parties separated their finances
  • When the parties stopped having a sexual relationship
  • When the parties physically separated into separate bedrooms or houses.

No single factor is determinative of separation.

There is no form to sign to evidence separation. There is no separation register.

However, if you are applying for Centrelink benefits, you may need to sign a statutory declaration confirming that you and your partner have separated.

Yes, the law recognises that couples can be separated even if they are still living in the same house. It is not uncommon for couples to continue to live in the same house for a period of time after they have separated, until one person is able to move somewhere else.

You should take your personal possessions, such as clothing, with you when you move out. Whether it is appropriate to take other items will depend on your personal situation. It is best to try and reach an agreement with the other person about taking other items, but sometimes this may not be possible.

We recommend you speak to our family lawyers before you move out if possible, so that we can advise you what would be appropriate in your situation.

This will depend on your particular situation. It might be appropriate for the other person to pay all of the mortgage or for you to contribute towards the mortgage instalments.

Our family lawyers will be able to advise you what is appropriate for your situation.

We recommend you speak to our family lawyers as early in the separation process as possible, or even before you separate, so we can advise you about this.

It can be difficult when both people want to remain in the same house after separation. There is no "one size fits all" answer to this question.

If you are in this situation, we recommend you make an appointment to see our family lawyers as soon as possible so we can discuss your options and what strategies you can take to resolve this situation.

If you are in immediate danger, call the Police.

Our family lawyers can also talk to you about obtaining an Intervention Order.

Child support payments can be agreed or determined by the Child Support Agency. The Child Support Agency can provide an assessment of how much child support you have to pay or how much you will receive.

The assessment will be based on your income, the other parent's income, the amount of time the children spend with each of you and the ages of the children.

To calculate child support, click here for the Child Support Agency's estimator

Yes. Seeing a lawyer before you separate can give you more options. If you do separate, it can make things less complicated if you have obtained advice about your rights and entitlements early on. Our family lawyers will support you through the separation process and can refer you to other professionals who can assist you as well.

There are a number of different approaches you can take to try and reach agreement with your partner about your family law matters. Our family lawyers can help you choose the best approach for your particular situation.

The most common approaches include direct discussions with your partner, mediation, lawyer assisted negotiations, Collaborative Law, arbitration and litigation (Family Court proceedings). Sometimes a combination of these approaches works best.

Whichever approach you choose, our family lawyers can guide you through the negotiation process and provide you with support, resources, information and advice about your legal rights and entitlements.

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