Separated but living together
28 Nov 2018
If you are married or in a civil partnership and are now separating or looking to be legally separated, Hepburn Delaney’s specialist team can help you. You may have already agreed to separate or may be considering a trial separation. Maybe you have decided that one of you will move out for a while to have a break from the situation. Or perhaps you would like to separate but stay living together.
Living in the same house during separation can be a very difficult time. Our expert family solicitors will make sure you are fully advised at each stage of the process, enabling you to make the best decisions for you and your family.
When you decide to separate from your spouse or civil partner one of you may want to move out of the family home. However, this may not be achievable; at least not initially. Financially it may not be possible to sustain two separate lives. Some people choose to remain living in the same house to maintain a family environment for the children. Some people may not want to end the marriage legally and formally yet as they are still unsure about the decision.
Marriage Separation Advice
A couple can be treated as separated even if they live in the same property. What you should be aware of is that if you later decide to divorce then you will need to demonstrate to the court that you have maintained separate lives during that period. The way you have been living will be reviewed by the court. Separated but living together in the eyes of the law means you must maintain separate households. Essentially this means you must lead separate lives, despite the fact you are living under the same roof.
Rules of Separation in Marriage
Our highly skilled team can advise you which areas of your living arrangements need to be kept separate in order to legally comply with the definition of being separated but living together. For instance, you must no longer share the day to day activities of the household, such as:
• Sharing a bedroom
• Sharing food shopping
• Cooking for each other
• Eating meals together
You should also be aware that you are unable to divorce on the grounds of Adultery if you have been living together in the same household for 6 months (or more) after the date the adultery was admitted to you, nor can you rely on Unreasonable Behaviour if the incident you would like to rely on was more than 6 months ago and you have carried on living together. If you are unsure how these rules may affect you, our team of experts will advise you so that you can plan the next step.
Legal Separation Agreements
You may wish to record any agreement in a Separation Agreement, which is a legal agreement made between two people who have separated. The agreement usually sets out financial agreements and plans for the children. If you are currently living (together or separately) in a rental property owned by one of you, or one of your family members this should also be noted in the agreement, to avoid any confusion in the future. You should also know that the separation agreement does not end the marriage. For more information please read our previous blog post on a legal separation agreements.
If you are separated but living together, considering separation, legal separation, or divorce our team at Hepburn Delaney Solicitors in Hemel Hempstead can help you make the best decision for you and your family.