23 Sep Family Law Q&A
Our Marriage has broken down. If I move out of the house first, what are the consequences?
It is possible to separate and still live in the same house, that is known as separation under the same roof. You don’t need to move out to be separated or for a divorce.
However, it can certainly be very difficult once a relationship is broken down to continue to live together although there may be financial reasons to do so. Because of the increased stress between the parties, it often results in the risk of domestic violence and police involvement such as an Apprehended Violence Order which of course should be avoided at all costs.
There are no extra rights of ownership given to a party who remains in the house. It doesn’t mean that you are giving up ownership by moving out. But there are some practical disadvantages and consequences. You may need to take some steps to protect yourself, for example to protect that the furniture and valuables in the home are not taken out or to ensure that joint bank accounts are not emptied, to ensure that your X does not make redraws on the joint mortgage, and that sort of thing.
During these difficult initial periods Orders can be obtained from the Court if necessary to protect a person’s rights, eg to obtain sole occupation of the home if the circumstances warrant, or to keep an abusive partner out of the home. Orders can be requested for 1 party to pay the mortgage or for spouse maintenance in various forms.
Has your marriage broken down? Are you concerned about moving out of the home and your rights? Contact Solari and Stock Miranda on 8525 2700 or click here to request an appointment with one of our Family Law Team.