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Family Law in Canberra – Unusual living arrangements as ‘separating under one roof’ increases

By May 18, 2015No Comments

More couples who are splitting are choosing to ‘separate under one roof’ due to the unaffordable property market and general economic stress, experts say.

The division of assets during divorce can place individuals in a worse financial position than before and rather than sell the family home, perhaps even at a loss, some couples are coming up with novel solutions to separating which do not involve one partner wholly moving out.

This can be because people simply can’t afford the rents in their area and yet do not wish to move further away. Or they might wish to minimise the impact of their separation on their children—‘separating under one roof’ keeps both parents close by, avoids having to ferry children back and forth between addresses, and even sometimes may avoid having to explain to children why a parent has moved away.

Some parts of Australia, such as WA, have seen the construction industry receive a boost due to the number of divorcing couples who are choosing to both remain on the family property. The building industry reports an increase in people building granny flats on existing family properties or making alterations and additions (for example, adding extra floors) in an effort to reduce the financial impact of divorce.

Some couples have reportedly even renovated their home to become a ‘two-in-one’ residence, with separate private areas and designated shared, common areas. Subdivisions are also more popular, with couples selling off the land that’s subdivided to enable one partner to leave, or in rarer cases, to build a new house for one partner right next door.

Whether or not these kinds of solutions could work for you depends a great deal on the level of amicability in your divorce. At Alliance Family Law, we have a special interest in collaborative divorce, which can assist you in obtaining the most conflict-free divorce possible, and may even enable you to consider exploring some of the more creative arrangements for ‘separating under one roof’. Please call us today to discuss your specific situation on (02)  6223 2400.

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