1. Be Settlement Aware
    As the name suggests, Property Settlement is all about settling, rather than getting your way. If you would like to make it through this process without a lengthy and costly involvement of the Court, you have to be prepared to make some concessions in order to arrive at an outcome.
  2. Establish the Property Pool
    In order to work out a fair and equitable division of property after a divorce or separation, you must establish a detailed property pool – which includes all valuable assets (including property, vehicles, , superannuation, art, bonds and savings) owned at the time of settlement. The No Lawyers platform will assist you in adding all of your assets, debts and superannuation accounts.
  3. Consider Your Contributions
    During the course of a relationship both parties contribute to their joint wealth and these contributions are taken into consideration during property settlement. There are financial contributions (i.e. income or pre-existent assets) and non-financial contributions (i.e. renovations increasing property values or parenting contributions allowing the other party to work/earn more).
  4. Estimate Your Future Needs
    Post-divorce/separation each party is likely to have different needs. Depending on parenting agreements, professional status, age, health and financial situation, the Court will decide who gets what based on their specific needs. As a rule, it will be a matter of equity over equality in order to ensure a reasonably comfortable situation for both parties.
  5. Get Court Approval
    Once both parties have worked out what they consider to be a fair division of property, you must submit all the data you’ve gathered to the Court with your Consent Order Application, which is easily created using No Lawyers. The Court will assess it in terms of justice, equity and compliance with Family Law, before returning it to you as a Sealed Consent Order, which is a legally binding document.

And don’t forget these deadlines

Matrimonial Property Settlements must be submitted within 12 months of the Divorce Order.

De Facto Property Settlements must be submitted within two years of the date of formal separation. 


Ending a relationship is a difficult time in anyone’s life, whether you are married or in a de facto relationship.

A de facto relationship involves two people (including same-sex) who aren’t married but have lived together as a couple for at least two years without separation.

In order to be in a de facto relationship, there must be evidence of a ‘genuine domestic relationship’. Some factors that indicate this exists are the degree of financial dependency, whether a sexual relationship exists, the degree of commitment to sharing your lives, ownership of your property and caring for children if any exist.

Once these factors are determined, the court can make orders regarding the division of property and assets.

De facto couples are granted many of the same legal rights as married couples. Under the Family Law Act 1975, de facto couples are entitled to make prenuptial agreements about their property. De facto couples are also able to apply to the court for property settlement, however the application must be made within two years of the date of separation.

You also have the right to apply for spousal maintenance from your de facto partner if you feel you cannot adequately support yourself. The outcome will also depend on your partner’s ability to provide financial support, your age and your ability to work.

If you are ending a de facto relationship, it is always beneficial to seek legal aid, particularly if children and joint property or assets are involved.

To end a de facto relationship, you do not have to un-register your relationship or receive a separation certificate, there must simply be an intention to separate communicated to the other party. Similar to married couples, this can then be actioned by one party moving out, or remaining separated under the same roof.

It is not uncommon for arguments or disagreements to arise during the separation process. If you and your partner are struggling to come to terms with your de facto separation, it can be helpful to seek legal assistance.

No Lawyers’ Family Legal Resources aim to guide you through the process of ending your de facto relationship and provide tips on how to transition to the next chapter of your life.

Separation can be a stressful and emotional experience, particularly depending on the living circumstances of each person after the break up.

After separating from your partner, you may decide to move out and live somewhere else, or you may choose to remain separated under one roof. This article will help you understand how your situation might be affected by living with your partner once you have separated.

Being separated under one roof means you and your partner are still living at the same residential address despite no longer being in a relationship.

In 2019, almost 39,000 people were registered with Centrelink as being separated under one roof in Australia, so it’s likely more common than you think.

There are various reasons a couple may wish to do this, for example, if they are waiting to finalise their divorce or financial settlement.

Couples may also wish to save money by remaining in the one house, or live together for the sake of the children.

Whatever the reason you have for being separated under one roof; it is important to seek legal advice so you are well informed on the legal implications this living arrangement may incur.

The legal date of the separation is important if you are going through a divorce, and being separated under one roof may make it difficult to determine the specific date.

In order for a divorce to be granted, a couple must have remained separated for twelve months and one day.

The separation date is also important for de facto couples who have two years from the date of separation to apply for a division of property.

If you have been separated under one roof, you must prove to the court that you have made your partner aware of your intent to remain separated.

You should move out of the bedroom you previously shared, alert your friends and family to your changed circumstances, and undertake certain activities on your own.

It is also important to keep track of any relevant documents or changes you have made to convince the court of your separation.

The court will consider all of these elements, such as changing your finances, holiday arrangements or social activities to determine if you really have remained separated despite living under one roof.

This is known as establishing a ‘consortium vitae’ and is essential to begin the division of assets and liabilities and to finalise the divorce.

If you have just gone through a separation and are feeling stressed or anxious about living under the same roof as your partner, the legal firms listing in the No Lawyers Support Services can help. They can explain the implications of the law to your individual situation and provide expert advice so you can feel confident in your decisions and actions moving forward.



Breaking off a relationship or a marriage can take an emotional toll and is undoubtedly one of the most difficult experiences a couple or family can endure.

If you have just broken up with your partner or spouse, it is important to understand the difference between divorce and separation so you can move forward without encountering any unnecessary setbacks.

This article will provide clarity on the difference between the two, and what you can expect throughout the process.

Ending a marriage or a de facto relationship is considered a separation under Australian family law.

If you no longer live together as a couple, you are separated, however it is also possible to be separated under one roof in certain situations. This means you and your partner are still living at the same residential address despite no longer being in a relationship.

Either party may initiate the separation, or both parties may come to the decision together.

You are not required to register your separation; however, you may wish to inform government agencies such as Centrelink or Medicare or make arrangements for any shared bills, debts or bank accounts you manage as a couple.

It is recommended couples undergoing a separation consult a family lawyer to receive specific, clear and tailored advice moving forward.

Divorce occurs after a couple has separated. It is the legal ending of a marriage that can only be obtained if you have been separated from your spouse for twelve months and one day in order to prove your marriage cannot be salvaged.

The family court will assess your separation based on the circumstances of your individual situation.

Divorce is a ‘no fault system’ under Australian law, which means you do not have to provide a reason for the breakdown of the marriage.

If you have separated from your spouse, you are not legally required to divorce, but you should consider seeking advice from a family lawyer so you can be informed on the legal implications that may arise if you do remain married.

It is also important to understand that divorce is a separate process from property settlement and parenting arrangements that must be made after a marriage ends.

Whichever pathway you choose to take should be decided based on you and your spouse’s individual circumstances. There are a number of options to progress the separation, and if you are confused or concerned about what is right for you, the Family Legal Resources of No Lawyers can provide advice to help you move forward and move on with your life.

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