Living Apart / Cohabitation
If both parties live in different houses there will be few problems because the law treats people as living apart unless they are living in the same household. In order for people living under the same roof to prove separation they must show that they live completely separate lives both mentally and physically. It will not be sufficient to prove if they just sleep in separate bedrooms but continue to eat together and do the household chores for each other. The parties must also demonstrate a mental separation.
The effect of continued cohabitation
The law allows the parties to continue living together for 6 months following discovery of adultery in order to try and reconcile the marriage. If they continue to live together for more than 6 months they will not be able to divorce on the grounds of adultery.
- Unreasonable behaviour
The law allows the parties to continue living together for 6 months following the ‘final’ incident of unreasonable behaviour in order to try and reconcile the marriage. If there is no final incident, time will not have started to run. There is no absolute bar to divorce on the fact of unreasonable behaviour but the court will consider there must be good reasons to continue to cohabit. For example, if a woman with young children had no financial resources and was under threat of physical violence if she moved out.
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