Your Living Situation
Living Arrangements Post Separation
Important decisions about your living arrangements post separation will need to be made.
Who will live in the family home? Will one of you move out? Can you continue living in the same house while separated, in the short term? Would it be too uncomfortable for you to continue living in the same house as your former partner?
These are discussions you and your former partner should have, and hopefully you can come to an agreement.
If both names appear on the title to the family home, without a court order, consent orders or a binding financial agreement neither person can force the other to leave. Both have the right to live there and neither can force the other to leave.
However, if your name is not on the title, it’s possible for the person who owns the house to ask you to leave. In these cases a lawyer can help you to prevent this by applying for an order to prevent this from happening, referred to as an injunction.
Living In the Same House
If your separation is reasonably amicable you may decide to continue living together in the same house until you can finalise everything.
This is a legally recognised arrangement and is referred to as separated ‘under one roof.’
Many couples decide to live together after separation, until a more permanent housing solution can be found.
While it’s possible to live together while separated, to avoid complicating matters later on, make sure you act like a separated couple. This includes:
- Sleeping in separate bedrooms.
- Telling your friends and family you have separated.
- Cease cooking and cleaning for each other.
- Acting more like roommates, instead of a romantic couple.
The above points are what the law takes into account to determine if you’re actually separated. If some, or all of them, are not followed, it might mean you’re not actually separated, and your separation date could be pushed back until you separate properly.
Paying the Mortgage
It’s best to have discussions early on how the mortgage will be paid.
This involves having honest conversations on how much each person can afford every month. Our free mortgage brokers can help you with that.
If one of you moves out, and has to pay rent, then that additional cost should be taken into consideration.
Your bank might be able to pause mortgage repayments for a while (e.g 6 months or so) while you’re going through your separation. It’s worthwhile contacting the bank early on to see what they can do.
Remember if the mortgage remains unpaid for too long, the bank may take steps to take possession of the property and auction it off (e.g foreclosure).
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