Separation under one roof

If you and your spouse separate but continue to live in the same home this is known as separation under one roof. This may occur for a few days, weeks, months or years following your separation.

If you and your spouse were separated under one roof for any part of the 12 months immediately before the divorce application was filed, you must provide extra information to the Court to prove that you were separated during any such period. If you do not provide enough information the Court may adjourn the divorce application until sufficient information is provided.

Providing extra information

The extra information must be provided in affidavits. An affidavit is a written statement signed by a party or a witness which is sworn or affirmed before an authorised witness.

An applicant for a divorce (this means both parties in the case of a joint application) must file an affidavit, and another affidavit must be filed by an independent third party (often this other person is a family member, friend or neighbour) which supports or corroborates the claim of separation under one roof in some way.

For more information about affidavits, see the Affidavit page.

What each applicant should include in their affidavit

The affidavit evidence of each applicant should address, at least, the following matters:-

What should be included in the additional affidavit

The claim of separation under one roof must be supported or corroborated by the affidavit from the third party supporting the parties’ evidence in some material respect. The person who swears this affidavit must state the relationship of the person to each party, and their evidence must be more than what they were told by either of the parties, and should include facts based on direct observation and the circumstances in which the third party was able to make those observations.

Is additional evidence needed if by the time of the hearing the parties have not lived together for 12 months?

The fact that at the time of the divorce hearing 12 months has passed since the parties ceased to live together is not enough, as the period of separation with which the Court is concerned is the period of 12 months immediately before the date the divorce application was filed.

More information

Visit the divorce page for information on the other requirements for a divorce application.

Last updated: 8-Jan-2019

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