Firstly, make note of your separation date. The separation date is when you finally decide the relationship is over and have communicated this to your partner, even if still living under the same roof. Your separation date is important when you apply for a Divorce down the track. The separation date will also be relevant to property settlement, as whether contributions are made before or after separation can become important.
It is important that once you have separated, measures are put in place to protect your financial position moving forward. Here are some of our suggestions:
1. Bank Accounts
Cancel joint credit cards.
Take money you require out of any joint accounts and start our own account. Funds can be taken for reasonable living expenses.
Change the passwords on your internet banking.
Attend your local branch and apply to ensure that any future transactions on joint accounts require two signatories.
Organise with your bank to receive correspondence for all accounts to your new address.
Check amounts owing on credit cards, repayments and due dates.
2. Superannuation and Insurances
Renew all insurances
Review your superannuation beneficiary arrangements.
Keep in mind who will be paying for insurances, including health insurance. Consider that new accounts may attract waiting periods.
Ensure the children continue to be covered under any health insurance policy.
Obtain specialist advice about tax implications.
3. Property and personal Items
Keep a list of all joint assets and liabilities.
Remove personal property to a safe location. Keep records of your personal property.
Redirect your personal mail to your new address, if you have left the former matrimonial home.
4. Mortgages and Loans
Speak with your solicitor about issues including ongoing payment, liabilities and the like.
Consider whether Joint Tenancy needs to be severed.
If you co own the property, your former partner may be able to take out a further mortgage against the property. Speak with your solicitor as to whether caveats need to be issued.
5. Legal Documents
Speak urgently with your solicitor about terminating existing Power of Attorneys/Appointments of Guardian. Have new documents drafted.
Review your will.
We recommend that these matters be considered when you get advice from a Specialist Family Lawyer. Contact us today for a no-obligation first appointment. 02 9560 6811.
Author: Gabriella Arvanitis, Associate Lawyer, Family Law
Service: Family Law