Filing a Divorce Application in Australia: The Affidavit Required for Separated Couples Living Under the Same Roof

To apply for a divorce in Australia, you must prove that you and your spouse have been separated for at least 12 months and 1 day. Some couples may choose to live under the same roof while separated for various reasons. This is known as 'separation under one roof'.

If this applies to you, you will need to submit an affidavit detailing your situation and prove to the court that there were sufficient changes in the relationship to claim that both you and your spouse were separated.

An Overview of the Affidavit

An affidavit is a written statement provided by either you or your spouse regarding facts related to the separation. You will need to affirm the affidavit before an authorized witness such as a family lawyer or Justice of Peace. An independent person, such as a family or a friend, should also file an affidavit that supports the claims that you are making in order to further strengthen your case.

If both you and your spouse are filing for divorce, you will both need to file a separate affidavit and file it with the divorce application. Once again, both affidavits need to be affirmed with an authorized witness.

Necessary Contents of the Affidavit

In your affidavit, you should provide evidence regarding the gradual changes that have been made to your relationship for it to be considered as separation. You should include information to help the process move along:

  • Divided financial responsibilities or even assets. It is crucial that you and your spouse are now operating under separate bank accounts.
  • Stopped participating in shared activities. For example, you may include that both of you no longer attend family outings together, and may actually have already scheduled different allotted times to spend with the children.
  • Changed sleeping arrangements. You and your spouse should no longer sleep in the same room. Include details regarding where each individual sleeps.
  • Separated household chores and no longer perform household duties for one another.
  • Notified family and friends regarding the separation.
  • Notified government departments regarding the separation. This is important if you or your spouse receives benefits from the government.

In the affidavit, you should also include details regarding the reason why both you and your spouse have chosen to continue residing under the same roof, and whether there are any intentions of living separately in the future.


The affidavit should be filed with the application of divorce and submitted. You may not need to attend any court hearings if you do not have any children from the marriage that need to be accounted for. A family lawyer can give you a better idea of whether the details that you have included in your affidavit are sufficient, and can also act as a witness.

To learn more, contact a company like Northside Lawyers with any questions or concerns you have.