Separation, divorce – what exactly to do when your life just turned upside down.
Growing up, getting a great job, marrying the one, having a kid or two, till death do you part – none of us puts losing a life partner on our life agenda. But things don’t always go as planned and it’s always better to be prepared. Take five minutes to read this article so you have an idea what to take care of financially if, God forbid, you have to face a divorce or separation.
If you and your partner have any joint account, contact your bank and request to close it. Take your share of the saving and transfer it to your individual account. And don’t forget to change your passwords for security.
Credit cards and other loans
Repay any joint credit card bills you have with your partner, and then cancel it. As for other joint loans, you both will need to let your lender know that you have separated. From there, you can sort out the repayment together accordingly.
Do you rent a house or have one with ongoing mortgage? For the renters, talk to your landlord or agent to adjust the lease and set it under the name of whoever is going to stay there. If you own a house, talk to your lender to work out a mortgage repayment plan and protect the property with a caveat.
If either you or your partner is going to stay in the same property, you will also need to adjust all the house bills – electricity, landline phone and others – to address only the one living there. In the following months, check your billings and make sure they’re all correct.
Other financial stuff
Review your insurance policies – car, home, health insurances – and make sure you have the coverage that you will need. You also have to update your wills according to your current situation.
Another financial document you need to review is your superannuation. After a separation, super is considered a property. That means, your super could be divided by court order. Worry not, if your partner is willing to cooperate, you can still make an agreement about your super. This agreement can also be created when you want to divide your other assets.
Review your money management
Now that you’re going to be by yourself, you need to make adjustments on your lifestyle and habits, according to your income. Learn about how to create your monthly budget here. This is especially important if you didn’t use to be the one in charge of the money.
Bonus tips: The kids
What will happen to the mini-you after the separation? If you and your separating partner have kids, check out Family Relationships Online to sort out a family dispute resolution. This is mandatory before you try filing about parenting orders in the Court.
Separation or divorce is hard. It breaks your heart, your plans and part of your life. While we wish you never have to deal with it, there’s no harm in having the knowledge of what to do if it ever happens. Give yourself time to heal from the breakup and ask help from others if needed. Then, when you’re ready, do all the things you have read above and start moving on. Good luck!