When a marriage comes to an end the average couple are going to find it difficult to divide income that has supported one household into enough income to support two. Particularly during the recession, there was a rise in the number of separated spouses who had no choice but to remain living under the same roof.
The difficulty with this is that when you come to divorce proceedings, then if you are divorcing your spouse based on their adultery you need to tell the Court if you have lived with them in the same household for more than 6 months after discovering the adultery. If you have cohabited with your spouse for a period or periods together exceeding 6 months after discovering the adultery then you cannot rely on that as your ground for divorce. If you are divorcing your spouse based upon their unreasonable behaviour then again, the Court will want to know whether you have cohabited in the same household as your spouse for a period or periods together exceeding 6 months since the date of the last incident that you cited in your petition.
But all is not lost. The key words to pick out of the paragraph above are “household” and “cohabited”. The Courts understand that for financial and practical reasons it is not always possible for one party to move into separate accommodation and therefore the Court forms state that there can be more than one household in the same address.
This also means that when two people are living separately and apart albeit under the same roof, they can divorce based upon the fact that they have lived separately and apart for in excess of 2 years (provided they both consent) or on the basis that they have lived separately and apart for in excess of 5 years (where the Respondent does not consent).
The Court will want to know about sleeping arrangements, domestic chores, financial arrangements, socialising etc. to ensure that you have been living separately even though you remain under the same roof.
If this applies to you then you should be sure to take legal advice from a Solicitor about when evidence of your living arrangements needs to be prepared and the form that the evidence should take.
Contact our Divorce Solicitors, Birmingham