Separation and divorce


At law, separation is the date that the parties’ marriage or de facto relationship ends. It is important to note the date of separation, as this must be disclosed if and when you make an application for a divorce. Also, property and financial settlements can usually only be made within two (2) years of the date of separation.

When a couple separates, they will often need to make some immediate decisions about the care of their children and/or their assets. If the couple can reach an agreement between themselves, this will greatly reduce the amount of stress involved for each of the parties. Some issues that are important to consider are:

  • What will happen to the house, car, furniture and other property;
  • What will happen to any joint bank, building society or credit union account;
  • How the rent or mortgage is to be paid;
  • Who will stay in the house; and
  • Who will pay outstanding bills or liabilities.

Even if an agreement can be reached, the parties might consider obtaining their own independent legal advice in order to fully understand their legal rights and responsibilities, and better plan into the future. This is especially the case in circumstances where an agreement cannot be reached.

For further information or advice regarding separation, please contact one of our experienced divorce lawyers in Sydney on (02) 9232 8033 or alternatively email to arrange a consultation.


To obtain a divorce, the Court must be satisfied that the parties have been separated for a period of at least twelve (12) months, the marriage has broken down irretrievable (that is, there is no possibility that the parties will get back together) and appropriate arrangements have been made for the care of the children (if any).

It is possible for a couple to be separated, but still living together in the same home (and in some cases, sleeping together in the same bedroom).

For marriages of less than two (2) years, the Court will not grant a divorce unless the couple attends some form of counselling.

For more information about the legal requirements and steps involved in preparing for a divorce, please contact one of our experienced divorce lawyers in Sydney on (02) 9232 8033 or

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