Family separation can be a chaotic time with significant upheaval and anxiety. We have put together some practical tips to steer you through the confusion and help protect your interests:
- Secure your personal and family documents including birth certificates, passports, insurance policies, mortgage and property documents.
- Make copies of all important documents relating to the relationship, such as tax returns, payslips, bank statements, credit card statements, superannuation statements and car registration papers, as well as any documents relating to a business – while there is an obligation in family law for each party to fully disclose their financial information to the other, an uncooperative spouse can cause you considerable delay and extra legal costs that might otherwise be avoided with a little foresight.
- Update your computer, internet and email passwords to protect your personal privacy.
- Let your children’s school or day care know about your separation. This will help your children’s teachers be mindful of any changes the children might be experiencing. Separation can often be a time of high conflict, and your children’s school may need to be informed of any domestic violence proceedings or changes to the people authorised to collect the children.
- Deal with your banking arrangements. If you have joint bank accounts, joint credit cards or a joint home loan, your banking arrangements may need to be changed to avoid one party drawing on joint assets without the other’s consent. Most people will also want to start their own bank account at separation, and might want to redirect their salary payments into their individual account.
- Get professional advice – we offer an initial consultation where you can discuss your situation and receive preliminary advice about your options and next steps.