So you’ve decided to separate. What happens now –
Firstly, the decision to separate from a spouse is a huge decision and should not be made lightly. However, once the decision is made, we would suggest the first steps to take are –
- Communicate your intention to separate with your spouse;
- Note down the date of separation; and
- Contact Centrelink and child support where applicable to advise them of your separation.
Following on from your conversation with your spouse, you will need to have a conversation about who will remain in the matrimonial home, who will care for the children, will the matrimonial home be kept by you or your spouse or will the home be sold. These issues will form the basis of any property and children’s orders to eventually be filed with the Court in order to formalise your agreement.
You will then need to give some thought to the following –
- Redirecting mail;
- Closing any bank accounts in joint names;
- Opening a bank account in your sole name;
- Discuss how to pay out any joint credit cards;
- Arrange to redirect any salary that may have been going into a joint account to go into an account in your sole name.
- Review your Superannuation, Health Insurance and other Insurance Policies in joint names.
- Work out what is owed on utilities such as water, rates, electricity, telephone etc and bring payment up to date.
- Arrange to change any utilities in joint names into the name of the party who will be responsible in future.
The above is a brief list of matters that will need to be attended to after separation. It is always important to seek expert legal advice from a Family Law Specialist Lawyer. For more information, call Michelle Meares, Family Law Lawyer and Mediator on 4324 7699.