Embarking on the path of divorce is undeniably challenging, but strategic actions can significantly ease the process and help you protect yourself when separating. From safeguarding your financial interests to maintaining personal security, each step holds vital importance. Here, New South Lawyers’ Family Lawyers offer a comprehensive guide with ten essential actions to take during this transitional period.

Passwords and the need to protect yourself when separating

In the digital age, securing your online presence is paramount. Change passwords for all accounts, from banking to social media. Safeguard your privacy by deleting browsing history or utilising incognito mode while online.

Documents to retain

Preserving essential documents is crucial for a seamless transition. Keep in a secure location documents such as your children's birth certificates, passports, your marriage certificate, and financial records like payslips, bank statements, superannuation statements, and tax returns. Do not delete any important document or email including communications with the other party.

Contact the bank

Financial protection is key. Notify all relevant banking institutions about your separation, requesting restrictions on large transactions unless both parties provide consent. This ensures the safeguarding of shared assets during this sensitive time.

Items to take when you move out

If a change of residence is on the horizon, prioritise packing personal belongings, furniture, photographs, videos, and sentimental items. Taking everything you need during the first move prevents potential difficulties in retrieving items later.

Change titles, authorisations and beneficiaries 

Realignment of ownership and beneficiaries is paramount. Change property titles from joint tenants to tenants in common. Amend or draft your will and revoke any power of attorney giving your former partner authority. Review and modify superannuation and insurance beneficiaries accordingly.

New bank account

Establishing financial autonomy is crucial. Open a bank account in your sole name and ensure all financial transactions, including salary and benefits, are directed to this new account.

Eligibility for Government benefits 

Contact Centrelink to assess eligibility for government benefits and child support. Understanding your entitlements provides a foundation for financial stability during this transitional period.

Change your postal and contact address 

Update your contact information promptly. If you've moved from your shared home, ensuring that correspondence reaches you is essential for legal and administrative purposes.

Seek professional advice

Legal and financial guidance is invaluable during a separation. Consult with a lawyer and financial adviser to understand your rights, obligations, and the best course of action tailored to your specific situation.

Pre-court preparations 

Consider alternatives to litigation. Heed the advice of your legal counsel and explore negotiation options outside the courtroom. Taking strategic steps beforehand can potentially streamline the separation process and minimise emotional and financial strain.

New South Lawyers’ communications are intended to provide commentary and general information. They should not be relied upon as legal advice. Formal legal advice should be sought in particular transactions or on matters of interest arising from this communication.

To find out more, chat with a member of New South Lawyers' Family Law Team today.