Post relationship advice

If you have recently separated from your partner, it is important to get independent legal advice as early as possible to ensure you understand your rights, obligations and to minimise stress.

Blanchfield Nicholls can help you navigate the often difficult, transitional period of formal separation and advise you on critical separation questions including:

  • whether you should stay in the home or move out
  • who pays bills and expenses pending the final settlement
  • separating finances
  • arrangements for any children
  • understanding your family’s financial position
  • gathering information to help you resolve your matter outside of Court.

Depending on your family’s situation, Blanchfield Nicholls can also refer you to other service providers and professionals including mediators, counsellors, accountants, financial planners, to put you in the best position to negotiate a favourable outcome for you and your family.

Getting a divorce

If your marriage has broken down, you can legally end your marriage by obtaining a divorce. However, there are several steps that separating couples need to take before obtaining a divorce.

Thinking of getting a divorce? Here’s what you should know

Before you can file your divorce application, you must be separated from your spouse for at least 12 months prior to filing.

If both parties consent to the divorce, then you can file a joint application.

However, if only one spouse wants a divorce, then the person applying will need to file and serve a sole application.

If you have been married for less than 2 years, then counselling and a certificate that you have considered reconciliation is also needed.

It is important you demonstrate to the Court that appropriate arrangements are in place for any children of the marriage if the divorce is granted.

The steps and processes in obtaining a divorce vary from marriage to marriage, however Blanchfield Nicholls’ extensive family and relationship law experience in obtaining divorces for clients means we can advise you in relation to a divorce whatever your circumstances.

Living separately but together

The law recognises that for many separated couples it is not always possible, or practical, for one person to move out and live in a different home when a relationship breaks down.

Living apart in the same home is known as ‘separated under one roof’; meaning that you and your partner, having decided that the relationship or marriage is over, live more as flatmates than as a couple.

What is separation under one roof?

Factors that indicate separation under one roof include:

  • separate sleeping arrangements
  • not performing household duties such as cooking and cleaning together
  • socialising separately
  • splitting your finances.

If you are living separately under the one roof when you apply for a divorce you may need a friend or family member to act as a witness to the separate living arrangements, to provide proof that you and your partner are in fact separated.

Couples parting ways may live ‘separately, but together’ until the financial arrangements or parenting arrangements are resolved.

Family violence

Family violence, or domestic violence, is never acceptable.

The definition of family violence is broad, and can include physical, emotional, economic abuse or behaviour that is designed to coerce, control or cause a person to be fearful of their own safety or the safety of another person.

In NSW, Police may apply for an Apprehended Violence Order on your behalf, or you may apply yourself. In the Family Courts, there is a duty on parties to disclose family violence, and the protection of children from being victims of, or being exposed to family violence is a primary consideration for the Courts.

Blanchfield Nicholls can support your family through family violence.


For a confidential discussion about your family’s situation, please get in touch.