It is not necessary for you
to take any positive action to register your separation.
However, you will need to make a note of the date of separation as
this will be important when determining the amount of time that you
have to bring a claim for property settlement pursuant to the
Family Law Act.
Separation occurs when one or both parties to a de facto
relationship clearly communicate to the other party that the
relationship is over.
Once you have separated, you have two years from the date of
separation to resolve all property matters before you lose your
right to commence proceedings in the Family Courts if you haven't
been able to work it out with your former partner in a reasonable
or amicable way.
If you and your former partner can reach an agreement
about the division of property, you can finalise that agreement in
two different ways; either Consent Orders or a Binding Financial
A BFA is essentially a contract, and there is a requirement in the
Family Law Act that for this agreement to take effect a
"separation declaration" must be signed by at least one of the
parties and it needs to state:
- the parties lived in a de facto relationship; and
- the parties have separated and are living separately and apart
at the declaration time; and
- in the opinion of the parties making the declaration,
there is no reasonable likelihood of cohabitation being
This declaration is only necessary if you and your former
partner decide to finalise your property settlement with a BFA. If
you choose to finalise your property settlement with Consent Orders
(an agreement which gets filed with the Family Court) there is no
need for this declaration.
So simply speaking you do not need to "register" your separation
but you may need to sign a "separation declaration" if you do a
It should also be noted that some Government agencies such as
Centrelink may have their own requirements in relation to formally
"registering" a separation, which you may need to comply
Like more information about your separation or want to speak with
a Family Law solicitor? Visit our Family Law site.