Photo Courtesy: Caroline Hernandez Collected from Unsplash
Going through a separation or divorce is an incredibly difficult situation for anyone. It causes emotional and financial distress and anxiety to all the parties involved. However, if you have a clear understanding of your legal and financial position, it makes it less stressful and puts the control back in your hands. In this article, I am trying to provide you with some simple steps that you can take to simplify your life after separation:
Contact your bank or financial institution in writing either by email or a letter to stop joint funds from being removed or liabilities increased.
Change passwords of your emails, social media accounts, online shopping sites and bank accounts. It will help you to secure your privacy.
Check your Will to see if it is still appropriate. Make sure that you make changes in your Will to suit the changing circumstances. If you do not have a Will, please consider having one drafted.
Ensure all Powers of Attorney are revoked if you have any and replace those with appropriate ones.
Consider whether your nominated death beneficiary for your superannuation entitlements is appropriate after your separation.
Update the beneficiaries of your life insurance policies.
Photocopy all of your and your ex-partner’s financial documents and put them in a secure location. Please ensure that you store those documents somewhere other than your home or motor vehicle.
If you need financial assistance, contact Centrelink and update your relationship and financial status. If you are eligible, Centrelink can provide you with emergency payment to meet your needs. You can also book an appointment with a social worker through Centrelink. They will guide you to other services that can help you and your children to start a safe life after separation.
Contact the Child Support Agency and find out how much is to be paid or is payable. It will help you to plan your future finances.
Do title searches on your properties. If your home is in your ex-partner’s name or it is held as tenants-in-common, please ensure that you place caveats over the property. If your property is held as joint tenancy, please consider severing such tenancy.
Collect the documentation on your sole and joint investments.
If there has been family violence involved, please contact the police and seek an Intervention Order. Safety of your family is of utmost importance. Family violence is unacceptable behaviour. There is help available from various support agencies to keep you and your children safe.
Keep in contact with your GP during and after your separation. If you feel emotionally overwhelmed, the GP can refer you to the counselling services. It will help you to maintain your emotional stability.
Start a journal to keep track of time with the children and any adverse behaviour of your ex-partner.
Do not send nasty texts or emails to your ex-partner out of anger. Such behaviour impacts your image before the court and affects the outcome. Those rude communications will be the first documents presented to the Judge.
Consider what to do with any credit card with a secondary card held by your ex-partner. It is often better to let them know before you cancel their card.
Most importantly, seek advice from an experienced Family Lawyer.