Separated and living in same house during separation

Living in the same house during separation is not the easiest thing to do.

We want to help explain that it is actually quite hard to get a divorce when you are cohabiting, but still living together after you have separated.

What the law says about cohabiting and living in the same house

You can get a divorce if you are cohabiting in the same house, but you’ll need to show the court that you have maintained separate lives during that period.

You cannot divorce upon the grounds of adultery if you have continued living in the same household for 6 months or more after the date the adultery was admitted to you.

Similarly, you cannot bring a divorce based on unreasonable behaviour if the last incident was more than 6 months old and you have continued living together.

If you are considering getting a divorce based on 2 years separation, it is advised that the separation date starts on the date one party moves out.

Feeling confused and want free information, call our friendly divorce advisers today on 01793 384 029.

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Maintaining separate households

The court will expect you to say that you literally do not share anything.

Judges apply these rules very strictly in accordance with a precedent set in the case known as Mouncer v Mouncer [1972] 1 All ER 289.

In Mouncer, the husband and wife were on very bad terms and slept in separate bedrooms.

They continued to take their meals together, albeit that they were cooked by the wife often in the company of one or both of their children.

They shared the cleaning of the house and made no distinction between one part of the house and the other although the wife no longer did any washing for the husband.

The only reason for the husband continuing to live in the house was his wish to live with and help look after the children.

The court held that “a rejection of a normal physical relationship coupled with an absence of normal affection” was not sufficient to constitute “living apart”

Here is a list of things that you cannot do if you want to maintain that you have been living separately in your divorce and you will need to go into some detail how this works if the judge queries your arrangements, which are initially set out in the divorce petition;

  • Sharing meals
  • Sharing a bedroom
  • Socialising together
  • Sharing a bank account
  • Sharing children activities
  • Sharing the shopping
  • Eating meals together

Because of the nature of this situation, getting a divorce is slightly more time consuming and therefore using a high-street solicitor can put your costs into the thousands.

Luckily, Divorce-Online the leading provider of online fixed fee divorce services can help you from just £189 including VAT.

If you want advice or further information on how we can help you get a  divorce when you are still living together call us on 01793 384 029.

This post was written by Mark Keenan. Editor of the Divorce Online Blog and Managing Director of Online Legal Service Ltd. Mark has been writing about divorce and related subjects for over 20+ years and is an expert in legal marketing.

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