Can I file for divorce if we still live together?
We often get enquiries asking if it’s possible to get a divorce while living together in the same house. The short answer is yes. But there are some conditions that you need to be aware of to avoid costly mistakes.
The court recognises that it is not always possible to live in separate households immediately, following the breakdown of a marriage or civil partnership.
If you are divorcing on the grounds of adultery or unreasonable behaviour, you can live together in the same house. But, if you continue living together for more than six months after finding out about the most recent incident of adultery or unreasonable behaviour, you won’t be able to use either ground as the basis for a divorce.
If you are getting divorced based on two years or five years of separation, you must have lived separately over the respective period.
It is possible to live separately for some of this time while remaining in the same house. To live separately in the same household, you must demonstrate to the court that you have stopped living as a couple. For example, you sleep in separate rooms, prepare your own meals, and participate in activities with your children separately.
How does the law define living apart?
If you have spent some time living in the same household during your separation, you must prove to the court that you have been living apart.
Living apart in the same household means that you don’t share any activities or finances. The court can request a detailed statement of your living arrangements, so the general advice, to keep a divorce as straightforward and lowcost as possible is to start the period of separation when you stop living in the same household.
Do you need more information?
Divorce can be really confusing so we offer a free no-obligation consultation to help you find the best solution for you. If you would like to speak to one of our friendly advisors, enter your details below and select a call back time.