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Blue Skies

Separation under one roof

Roof Against Clear Blue Sky

It is possible to be separated, but still live together in the same home. It’s called ‘separation under one roof’. If you’ve lived in the same home for part or all of the 12 month period immediately prior to applying for a divorce, you can still get a divorce, but the court requires extra proof that you really were separated. (It’s known as ‘separation under one roof’.)

Here you’ll learn when you have to prove separation under one roof, what to do and how to do it.

What extra proof is required?

This extra proof is provided in the form of affidavits.

Joint divorce

If you’re doing a joint application for divorce, you and your spouse must each file a separate affidavit setting out some details about the separation. If for some reason, only one of you is able to file an affidavit, then you will need to file an affidavit by an independent person.

The affidavits by you and your spouse should not be identical.

Sole divorce

If you’re doing a sole application for divorce, you’ll need to file an affidavit with the court setting out some details about the separation. You’ll also need to file an affidavit by someone independent who can verify your separation. Someone such as a friend or relative or neighbour.


Remember, the affidavits should not be identical.

What happened when you separated?

You’ll need to give some details of what happened when you separated.

What was said or done?  What conversations took place?

For example, ‘We separated on 15 January 2017 when Fred said to me “Our marriage isn’t working.  It’s over. I can’t afford to move out at the moment so I’m moving my stuff to the spare room.”

Why are you sharing a home?

The court will want to know why you are still sharing accommodation.

Was there a good reason?

Perhaps neither of you could afford to move out.

Maybe you’re still looking and can’t yet find suitable accommodation in the area you want to live.

What are your future intentions?

The court will also want to know what your intentions are for the future.

Are you planning to continue living together in the same home indefinitely? This might give the impression there’s a chance you’ll get back together.

If the court thinks there’s any chance of reconciliation, it won’t give you a divorce.

Have you had a discussion with your spouse about the future?

Your affidavit should give some details of these sorts of conversations.

Are you or your spouse looking for another place to live?

Perhaps you’re waiting for the house to be sold and the proceeds divided to be able to afford new accommodation.

Everyone’s situation is different, so give some explanation about your circumstances and plans for the future.



If you’re doing a sole divorce, you’ll also need an affidavit from another person who is not your spouse, who can confirm what you’re saying.

This is called corroborative evidence and it needs to be someone other than your spouse who is over 18. Someone like a friend, relative or neighbour.

They need to set out things like…


  • When they found out about the separation.

  • How they found out.

  • Do they know why you’re still living in the same home?

  • Have they known you and been to your home both before and after separation?

  • What changes they have seen or noticed which confirms you’ve separated.

  • For example, have they noticed your spare room is now your spouse’s bedroom?

  • Have they noticed that you don’t socialise together any more?

Don’t let this process become overwhelming.

The court deals with families and separation day in, day out.

They understand it’s not always possible for you to lead completely separate lives.

Don’t waste hundreds or even thousands on a lawyer when you can do your own divorce.

We can easily provide you with everything you need to arrange and manage a simple and straight forward divorce.

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