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Leaving a relationship, whether it involves property, children, pets or just yourself, is a difficult and personal decision to make. This decision becomes clouded with further issues when there are allegations of violence or emotional abuse.  Often, these issues mean an individual leaves their home and belongings without obtaining correct advice as to their relationship break down.

In Australia, your partner has no right to:

  • Demand that you leave the shared property or home,
  • Prevent you from leaving the shared home either alone, or with your children, belongings or pets,
  • Prevent you from taking personal documentation, such as your passport, financial documents that may contain shared information, medical information or documentation relating to your children,
  • Prevent you from taking jointly owned property that may assist in your day-to-day care of your children or pets such as bedding,  crockery or clothing,
  • Intimidate you by stating if you leave them they will have you deported due to issues of citizenship and immigration.

It is important to note that the above considerations do not apply if there is a Court order involving any or all of the above concerns.

Understanding your rights by seeking advice from a domestic violence lawyer can better help you navigate your family law matter. Recently, NSW Government commenced a program called Staying Home Leaving Violence, which seeks to assist individuals in domestic violence situations to stay at home but remove their violent partner or husband through police assistance. If your situation allows, you should seek legal advice from a domestic violence lawyer before leaving the home.

Click here for more information on domestic violence.

For advice about leaving an abusive relationship contact us on 1800 300 170 or email us at

Family law situations can be complex and sometimes they can involve serious issues.  Information outlined is proposed to provide general guidance only. Due to the seriousness of legal matters as well as the uniqueness of your individual situation, professional advice should be sought. For advice, please contact one of our Family Lawyers.