Separation can be a difficult and often stressful time.
Whether it is you or your ex-partner that is leaving the family home or even in situations where you are separating but living under the same roof, there are many practical changes that may need to be made and can often be forgotten. To assist you, we have put together a list of important steps to take before and after separation…
Gather together all your important financial documents and personal items before leaving the property, including:
- Birth certificates for yourself and your children;
- Marriage certificate;
- Insurance policies;
- Superannuation and Bank Statements;
- Educational and health documents for yourself and your children; and
Change your details on important identification documents, including:
- Driver’s licence;
- Medicare Card;
- Centrelink Benefit Card;
- Superannuation and Insurance Policies – you may also want to advise of any change in beneficiaries; and
- Vehicle Registration.
You may also want to consider changing your name and contact details with the following:
- Loyalty cards;
- Government Departments: Australian Tax Office, Centrelink, Medicare; and
- Open a new bank account in your name only;
- Talk to your financial institution about any joint accounts or mortgages in both names and how those accounts can be accessed in the future. It may be that the accounts need to be frozen or closed or that joint signatures are required; and
- Cancel any supplementary cards that have been issued to your ex-partner and are linked to your bank accounts, credit cards or loyalty programs.
- Update all your utility account details for your electricity, gas, water, phone and internet – If you have moved out, remove your name from the account so that you are not liable for any unpaid bills;
- If you are renting a property, notify the Landlord or your Real Estate Agent to remove your ex-partner or yourself from the lease; and
- If you have moved out, apply to redirect all your mail with Australia Post or you may want to consider a Post Office Box if you are unsure of your new address.
Other important services to remember
- Contact Centrelink and the Child Support Agency if you think you might be eligible for assistance.
- Change all your passwords, including all online accounts such as:
- mobile phone;
- Service NSW;
- Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram;
- Insurance; and
- PayPal and eBay.
Change your emergency contacts, including:
- Phone contacts list; and
Seek legal advice about the following matters:
- Family Law Matters – Parenting, Property and/or Divorce
- Updating your Will, Appointment of Enduring Guardian and Power of Attorney
Don’t forget – keep reminders for yourself
It’s easy to forget to take these steps some which can be done before separation and others after separation. The important thing is that you don’t forget to take any steps that may be necessary for your own protection. Separation can be a tumultuous time, it is worth keeping a checklist for yourself to remind you of the steps that you have taken and the steps that you still need to take.
Our family law services
If you wish to discuss any of the steps to take before and after separation, or if you have any questions about the family law services that we offer please call our office and make an appointment to speak with Jacqui Meades. Your first appointment is free. Simply call our office on (02) 6332 6655 and arrange a time to come in for a chat. We look forward to meeting with you and assisting you with your Family Law matter soon.
Other sources of family law information
- You can find the Federal Circuit Court’s publications here.
- You can find the Family Court of Australia’s publications here.
Jacqui Meades has extensive experience in Family Law and Domestic Violence and strives to resolve matters outside the court system providing timely and positive outcomes with a minimum of stress.