Going through a separation will often be one of the most stressful times in your life and it can be difficult to think clearly. To help you through this trying time, here are 10 tips to think about doing when you first go through a separation. These tips will help you to focus on some important areas and get some structure back in your life.
1. Think about counselling
If you want to separate amicably, it is a good idea to think about counselling so that you can give one last look at working through your relationship problems. Even if your partner doesn’t want to go along, consider seeking counselling yourself during this difficult stage in your life.
2. Decide what happens to children
If you decide to move ahead with your separation, it is important to formally agree on where your children will live and how you are going to share the care of looking after them.
3. Decide where you will both live
Decide where you want to live. If you want to stay in your home, you can. If you want to move out, then you can do that as family law will still recognise your legal rights over your belongings and the property itself.
4. Consider the items you own
If you are moving out, try and take everything you will need and the items you want to keep so there won’t be any arguments about belongings further down the track. If you are staying, you are entitled to change the locks on your home if your spouse has moved out.
5. Make sure your legal and financial documentation is sorted
Before you come to an agreement (such as consent orders or a Binding Financial Agreement), you will need to know your partner’s financial position so you can separate fairly and be left with an appropriate settlement.
6. Open your own bank account
Make sure you appropriately deal with any joint bank accounts and open your own so you don’t have any money problems further down the line.
7. Think about your superannuation and insurance
Take another look at your superannuation and life insurance to ensure that in the event of your death, your money goes to your children rather than your former spouse. You may need to complete a new binding death benefit nomination.
8. Write a new will
Seek the advice of a lawyer and get a new will drafted.
9. Get in touch with Centrelink
If your relationship status changes and you are receiving any kind of benefit, then you need to let Centrelink know so they can adjust your payments accordingly.
10. Seek legal advice about your separation
Going through a separation isn’t easy. The best advice is to seek legal help as a lawyer will be able to help you through the process step by step, enabling you to get the best outcome from this difficult time.