Separating from your partner can be an extremely stressful time, full of uncertainty. It can be difficult to know the practicalities of separation and as such, we have devised a practical checklist to assist you.
We suggest consideration should be given to the following:
Have you communicated the end of the relationship to your partner?
There are three elements to separation, namely an intention to separate (that means, to end the relationship), to act on that intention, and to communicate this to the other party. Once the intention to separate has been communicated to your partner, it is important to note down your separation date as this date is a relevant factor to your property settlement and for government agencies, such as Centrelink and Child Support.
One will need to consider who will remain in the home; this is regardless of whether you own the home or are renting. Factors that may lead to one party staying in the home include who will have the care of the children, who can afford to move out of the home, are you comfortable remaining in the home and does one party want to retain the home or will it have to be sold?
You may consider changing your passwords on your computer or any other apps you may use. You may also wish to change any pin numbers on any account in your sole name.
You may want to attend to redirecting your mail.
You should consider establishing a bank account in your sole name for the purposes of having your income redirected to that account.
If there are any joint bank accounts, you might wish to have discussions about the funds that remain in the account. It may be a good idea that you attend the bank and request that both become signatories of the account, if practical.
If there are joint credit cards, loyalty or store cards such as Fly Buys and Everyday Rewards, you may wish to discuss how these will be used and/or paid out. You may seek to have a card cancelled or frozen.
It is important to collate your paperwork. With any property settlement, you are under a ‘Duty of Disclosure’, so it important that you have copies of bank and credit card statements, taxation returns, superannuation entitlements, car registration in your sole name and any other documents relating to assets or liabilities you may hold.
Review your private health insurance and either set up a new account or discuss who will pay for the policy and who will remain on the existing policy.
Review your utilities and adjust any water, rates, electricity, gas and telephone and internet accounts if you are remaining in the property.
Review any insurance policies that you have over any assets of the relationship, such as motor vehicle insurance and home insurance.
If you are using the same accountant, consider who will remain with that accountant.
If there are children of the relationship, arrangements will need to be made for their financial support and you may seek to contact Centrelink and the Child Support Agency.
It may be an appropriate time to change who the beneficiaries are on your superannuation policy, life insurance policy and establish a new Will and Power of Attorney if necessary.
If you are in the process of separation and require legal assistance, contact us today.