Seek Legal Advice
Seek legal advice concerning access to children, marital property and financial matters.
Suppose you are unsure of your legal position or want to look after your own divorce. In that case, a solicitor can assess your situation and advise you concerning your legal rights before you start negotiating with your ex-spouse.
Sever Joint Tenancies
Joint tenancy means that if one of the joint owners dies, the deceased’s share is automatically passed on to the other joint tenant. This means that if you die, your interest may be automatically inherited by your spouse or partner. Severing the joint tenancy will ensure that your share is dealt with in accordance with your wishes.
Update Your Will
Before divorce, any gifts to your ex-partner in your Will remain valid. If you die suddenly during the separation process and before your divorce is finalised, your ex-partner may inherit your property.
Seek Financial Advice
You should seek financial advice before making any legal decisions. Seeking financial advice will enable you to make an informed decision about your future.
Know Your Legal Limitation Periods
A Divorce Order cannot be applied before a period of 12 months of living separately and apart from your partner. Once the divorce order becomes final, a property application must be made within 12 months of divorce if a property settlement has not already been finalised.
Update Your Superannuation Death Benefit Nomination
A superannuation ‘death benefit’ includes the money in the deceased’s super account at the time of death plus any life insurance cover through the super fund. If your ex-partner is listed as your beneficiary, your death benefit may be paid to your ex-partner. You should review this situation.
Review Your Bank Accounts
It is important that you set up your own finances and restrict your spouse or partner’s access. If you open a new account in your name make sure than your pay is going into this account. You may need to talk to your bank to cancel any access you ex-partner may have to accounts in your name, and close off joint bank accounts. It may also be necessary to change joint loans and mortgages to require joint signatories to withdraw any funds and limit or cancel any redraw facilities.
Update Your Power Of Attorney
It is crucial that you revoke any Power of Attorney your partner or spouse may have. While they still have Power of Attorney, they may deal with your property or financial affairs after separation without your knowledge.
Provide Copies Of Financial Records To Your Solicitor
If you are separating from your spouse or partner, you may wonder how property and financial assets will be divided. When you meet with your solicitor about settling property and financial matters, you will be asked several questions about your circumstances, including joint and individual assets and liabilities, bank accounts, credit cards, shares, superannuation entitlements, and any business or company interests.
It is essential to have as much detail as possible, and it will help if you can bring copies of financial records, including statements and pay slips, with you.
Review Your Budget
Review your budget. You may need to speak to a solicitor about seeking interim property or spousal maintenance orders.