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Separation under one roof: Living together after a split

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Living together after separation
Dealing with the emotional fall-out of separation is a huge challenge but so is the practicalities of setting up two households.

Living together after separation is a choice couples are increasingly making in Australia. Whether you’re the one initiating the separation or the person on the receiving end of such news, dealing with the emotional fall-out is a huge challenge in itself, and then there’s the practicalities of setting up two households. Here’s some things to consider from the experts at Doolan Wagner Family Lawyers.


Living together after separation is a growing trend for couples in Australia, so if you’re considering staying under one roof after a split, it’s important to be informed about what to expect.

Living together after separation: Where things will change for you

  •     Your level of intimacy
  •     How you share (or don’t share!) household chores
  •     Socialising as a couple
  •     The way household bills are paid and money is allocated
  •     Enjoying activities as a family

It’s likely, if you have separated but continue to live together, you have told at least some of your family members and close friends and possibly your children’s school(s) or pre-school about your change in circumstances.

Couple living together after separa

Dealing with the emotional fall-out from a separation is a challenge, especially living together

What about the kids?

Separating under one roof with children presents far greater challenges than for a couple living on their own,

Some families look at allocating or “rostering” the care of their children at particular times.

This may involve:

  • Agreeing on designated days for each of you to do designated tasks, eg tea-time, bathtime and bedtime
  • As part of this you might agree that the parent not “rostered on” vacates the home for the time that the other parent is “on duty”

Some versions of a family living together after separation are “nesting” arrangements.

This may involve:

  • Nesting arrangements work with each parent moving in and out of the family home at agreed times, often weekly, but the agreement usually depends upon the age and individual needs of the children.
  • The parent out of the former home or “nest” may couch surf on a friends lounge. This often requires a very tolerant and accommodating friend.
  • Alternatively they may go back to their family home and avail themselves of the generosity of their own mum and dad.
  • Often a couple agreeing to a nesting arrangement set up a second home and agree to share that space as well.  This may be a studio flat or small apartment nearby.

When considering living together after separation, it’s crucial to remember decisions like this are very important and can have hidden and unexpected consequences.  As such please think of consulting an experienced family lawyers before going down any of these paths.


If you would like to understand more about separation under one roof or simply want advice about your separation, please contact Doolan Wagner Family Lawyers on (02) 9437 0010 or email [email protected] to discuss your matter in complete confidence.

Doolan Wagner Family Lawyers are conveniently situated in St Leonards on Sydney’s Lower North Shore and have a team of experienced and caring professional Family Layers available to help you.

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