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Divorce and separation

Going through a separation or divorce can be difficult but we’re here to help…

During this challenging time, you may be adjusting to your new situation. We know that sorting through your finances can be confusing, so we’ve created these simple steps to help.

Seek legal advice

The separation or divorce process can be emotional, draining and confusing. It is best to seek the advice of professionals if you do find yourself going through the process. Enlist a lawyer you trust to help you navigate through the uncertainty and with any big decisions you may be forced to make.

If you can’t afford a lawyer, your Local Legal Aid or Community Legal Centre could be able to help.

Open your own bank account

The first step to your financial independence, is to open a transaction and savings account in your name.

Close any joint accounts

You may want to consider closing any joint bank accounts, or introducing a co-signing system, should either of you need to withdraw money.

If you can, it’s a good idea to have a conversation with your partner about this and, if a joint decision cannot be met, then we can put a hold on the account until a resolution is reached.

Before you cancel anything, you may also want to review 13 months worth of statements. This will help you identify any direct debits you have set up and may need to change.

Review joint credit commitments

It’s important to remember, both you and your ex-partner are jointly and severally liable for any joint financial commitments.

Cancel joint credit cards

Further to closing any joint accounts, you may also need to look at cancelling any shared credit cards. This may involve working out a plan to pay off any outstanding balances on the card/s. Once the debt on the credit card has been cleared, get in touch with us about cancelling and closing the account.

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Have a home loan?

If you own a home together and therefore have a joint home loan, you will both need to agree upon what you will do with the property next. Don’t forget to also think about what will happen to any funds in an offset account linked to your home loan.

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Update rental agreements

Were you renting with your partner? You’ll need to update your rental agreement should one of you move out of the property. This will also mean a discussion about how future payments will be made, as well as who will receive the bond or how it will be divided at the end of the lease.

Divide your assets

Make a list of your assets and seek professional advice. Check out MoneySmart for some helpful information.

Sort out your super

Super will also be split. This is generally done through a superannuation agreement or by court order. You might find some more useful information about this on the Family Court Australia website.

Update important documents

Collating all your important documents in the early days of separation can make the process a lot easier down the track. Think about things you may need to change or update, like your Will, advance care directives, enduring power of attorney or life insurance.

Change your passwords

Often forgotten but a very important update to make! If you bank with us, we recommend updating your password by calling us on 1300 131 844 or through Online Banking.

Next steps

We understand that separating from your partner is difficult. It can lead to unexpected changes to your current circumstances, and even financial hardship. If this is the case, please get in touch with us, so we can assist you.

How can we help?