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When to Separate

By 10 February 2017Family Law
When to Separate


As with a lot of questions asked in family law situations, the answer to when is a good time to separate is generally, “It depends on the situation”.

You should always be guided by what is in the best interests of children if there are children involved, and what is in your best interests.  As well as the emotional aspects of separation it is important to consider the practical and day to day effect that separation would have on you and your family.

If there are children involved then parents tend to stay together longer and may choose to separate during a school holiday period, particularly if the separation means that the children have to change schools.  Some people even wait until children are finished their schooling before they separate to minimise the disruption to the children’s schooling and allow an easier transition for the children.

If an agreement is reached by the parties about arrangements for children then they should consider formalising these arrangements either by Consent Orders or Parenting Plan.  If the children are young it will be important to think about arrangements that develop and fit as the children grow older.

If no agreement can be reached it may be necessary to make an application to the Court.  Further, if there are time restraints, such as deadlines for enrollment in school, and no agreement can be reached then it may be necessary for an urgent application to be filed.

If there are no children involved, it really is an economic decision on when parties separate.  Sometimes a party can not afford to move out of the matrimonial home and therefore they are bound to either stay in the relationship or separate under the one roof until they have built up sufficient funds to be able to afford a rental bond and be in a position to pay rent.

This issue can be magnified if one party is not working and has no income stream, it would then be difficult to separate and move out of the matrimonial home as they have no income and nothing to show a real estate agent that they will be able to afford rent.

If you are facing this predicament then you may need to consider making an application for Spousal Maintenance or an application for the sale of matrimonial property.  These applications can be complicated as a number of factors are considered by the Court when these applications are made.  These applications can be integral to assisting you moving forward after separation and therefore we encourage you to contact our office for advice on your options.

It is important to have an idea about what the future might hold for you when considering a separation. Our experienced solicitors in Ipswich will explain how the law would be applied in your circumstances so you can have some understanding of what you could expect and what you might need to consider prior to a decision to separate.