This is a challenging time in your life and can be overwhelming however there are a few things that you should consider doing as soon as possible.
Call the team at Kenny Spring on 1800 650 656 to make an appointment with one of our team to guide you through the process and discuss your legal entitlements.
It is important that you note the date upon which you separated; if you are in a de facto relationship you will have 2 years from that date to make an application to the Court regarding property division. Also, you can only apply for divorce once 12 months have passed since separation.
Protect your privacy by changing any pins or passwords to your bank account, computer, and/or mobile phone that your former partner may know or be able to guess.
You will need to establish financial independence from your former partner. If you have a joint bank account, you should open a new account in your name only and direct your employer or Centrelink to deposit your pay or benefits into that account. You should also contact Centrelink and advise them of your change in circumstances and discuss whether you may be entitled to benefits given that you are now independent.
Collect financial and legal documents such as passports, birth certificates, marriage certificates, your last will and testament, your payslips and bank or superannuation statements. Talk to your bank about obtaining approximately the last 3 years of bank statements (you may need more depending on your situation).
If you move out and are renting, you should contact your landlord and request that a new lease is entered into between them and your former spouse (taking you off of the lease). If you rent or own your home, take steps to remove your name from any utility accounts. If your former partner owns the home (and you are not a named owner on the title), we can discuss with you whether you should consider lodging a caveat over the property to protect your interests.
If you are staying in the home, arrange for the utility accounts to be transferred to you, if they are not already.
You should also consider talking to a counsellor to guide you through the range of emotions that you often feel during separation. Whilst it is a tough time, remember that you will get through it and we are here to help!
Lauren Ryan | Family Law Solicitor