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Separation is difficult, exhausting & expensive if you're in Sydney

Separation is difficult and exhausting. Separation, when you have children, is even more difficult, exhausting and emotional. But if you are separating in Sydney, which includes the Sutherland Shire, you can add "expensive" to the list of adjectives used to describe separation.

The fact that Sydney's housing market has reached record prices has not gone unnoticed by most people who have separated. They need to either find new accommodation or be able to afford to refinance their family home into their sole name to continue living there; both of which may seem impossible when real estate prices are as high as they currently are.

The problem is exacerbated for families with children who have regular contact with both parents. If one parent has not held employment for some time, is the primary carer of the children and cannot afford to refinance the Sydney family home into their sole name; the need to relocate to an area outside of expensive Sydney becomes a real possibility.

If this occurs, and the matter is being decided in the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia, the Court will factor in practical matters, such as whether there is a safe and convenient changeover location that both parties can access, and whether one party moving away from Sydney with the children will have an impact on the other party spending time with the children.

Family law also allows for the possibility of spousal maintenance to be paid to the party who does not have the financial means to meet reasonable living expenses post-separation. Spousal maintenance can be ordered regardless of whether the parties have children and is in addition to child support. However, it is not an automatic entitlement and depends on the circumstances of your case.

If you have recently separated and are struggling to re-establish your own or your family's life in Sydney or the Sutherland Shire, the Family Law team at MCW Lawyers can give you practical advice about what steps you can take to solve these issues strategically in your favour.

Article Author: Bree Staines, Senior Associate Lawyer, Family Law

Bree may be contacted at or alternatively, you can contact Bree's legal assistant, Layla Weston at


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