Can you get divorced whilst living in the same house?

Our Family Law team are often asked “can you get divorced whilst living in the same house?”

The answer is ‘yes,’ you can however as you can imagine, living under the same roof during separation or divorce is not ideal and is by no means an easy thing to do.  This is invariably an emotional and stressful time, even more so if the costs rise because you have not received the correct advice.

Divorcing and Maintaining Separate Lives

If you want to rely on a period of separation to support an application for divorce, you will need to show that you are maintaining separate lives, despite living under the same roof. To comply with this, you must no longer share day-to-day activities such as sharing a bedroom, joint food shopping and eating meals together.

If your relationship has ended but you are still living in the same house and expect to apply for a divorce in the future, it is sensible to plan how you will ‘live’ under the same roof to make sure that there is no doubt about when you separated.

Separated but Living in The Same House After Adultery

You cannot use grounds of adultery as a reason to divorce if you have continued living in the same property for six months or more after you learned of the adultery, unless that physical relationship is continuing.

Separation Agreements

There are two situations when you might want a separation agreement.

The first is if you cannot yet or do not want to apply for a divorce but want to make it clear when your relationship ended or make short-term financial arrangements.  Although not a legally binding court order, a separation agreement can give the court a clear indication of how you wish to deal with financial assets. 

The second situation is if you live in the same property but separate as an unmarried couple.  A separation agreement of ‘Deed of Separation’ is created by both you and your former partner. It can cover on-going maintenance, especially if you have children, and what will happen if you were to sell your home, setting out how the money from this will be divided too.  It can also detail how your belongings are going to be divided and how bills are going to be paid.

The separation agreement is useful to have in place should either of you decide to get married to other people in the future or if either of you do not fulfil your responsibilities under the agreement.

We Are Here To Help

If you would like to discuss this or any other family legal matters, please do not hesitate to get in touch with Elizabeth Taylor, a Solicitor specialising in Family Law at Phillips, by calling 01256 854628 or by email at [email protected]



This article is current at the date of publication set out above and is for reference purposes only. It does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied on as such. Specific legal advice about your specific circumstances should always be sought separately before taking any action.