You should consider your personal circumstances before doing any of these things. You may even want to get professional advice. Check out MoneySmart for more info.
1. Open your own bank account
2. Change your passwords
This often gets forgotten, but it's important to change your passwords regularly. If you bank with us, you can update your details in Netbank and the CommBank app.
3. Close your joint account
Like so many points on this list, you may need to be on speaking terms with your ex in order to close your joint account. You’ll need to make sure the account isn't overdrawn before it can be closed too.
If you’re in dispute with the other account holder, it’s likely your bank will put a stop on your joint account so no money can be withdrawn until a resolution is reached. It’s important to have money put aside in case this happens.
4. Cancel joint credit cards
Start by cancelling all direct debits and working out a plan to pay off any balance still outstanding. Once the debt on the credit card is cleared get in contact with your bank to cancel it and close the account.
Depending on the arrangement you have with your bank you may both need to agree to close the account or just one of you may be able to do it.
5. Update rental agreements
You’ll need to update your rental agreement if one of you has moved out, and discuss how future payments will be made. You should also agree on who will receive the bond or how you divide it at the end of your lease.
6. Joint home loan considerations
You will both need to agree on what happens to your jointly owned property, factoring in the fees and charges that may be involved. For example, you may agree to pay off any loans using savings, or sell the property and use the sale proceeds to pay off any loans. If, on the other hand, you plan to buy your ex’s share of the property, you may be able to refinance your home loan provided you’re able to demonstrate you can comfortably make the repayments. To find out if you’re eligible to refinance, you can make an appointment with a lending specialist. To discuss your options and decide what’s right for you, you may wish to speak to a lawyer or financial advisor.
It’s important to think about what will happen to the money in your home loan redraw or offset accounts linked to your joint home loan. You may wish to update the method of operation to ‘all must sign’ to prevent withdrawals happening without your agreement or you can apply a stop to any linked joint offset accounts. Speak to your bank for more information.
If you have concerns about meeting your financial commitments, CommBank customers can contact Financial Assistance Solutions on 13 30 95.
7. List joint assets and liabilities
Dividing your assets and agreeing who pays what for joint liabilities can be among the most challenging aspects of ending a relationship.
It’s a good idea to seek professional advice. Check out MoneySmart for more info.
It’s a good idea to update your super, including contributions and the beneficiaries (if applicable). Determining how super is to be divided is generally done either through a superannuation agreement or court order. You may wish to speak to a financial adviser for individual advice.
9. Update will and life insurance
You may want to change the beneficiaries of your will and/or life insurance. Unless you update both, your wishes before your separation or divorce will be honoured. It is also important to review and update other items including Powers of Attorney, emergency contact information and next of kin.
10. Check your credit score
You may need to apply for credit to help you pay for unexpected expenses. Knowing your credit score can also help you understand how much – or how little – a lender might offer and it’s important to know that it’s correct. Find out how to check your credit score here.
Splitting from your partner is often a difficult, emotional time. There’s help out there if you’re experiencing financial hardship. If you bank with us, please get in touch. We can help if your circumstances unexpectedly change.
Call us on 13 3095 or request financial assistance in NetBank if you’re behind in paying what you owe. We work with you to develop a solution tailored to your needs.
If you are a business customer and have a business loan or a line of credit, call us on 13 26 07.
If you’re not in that position yet, there are other ways we can support you.
- MoneySmart – Getting divorced or separating
- Family Court of Australia
- 1800Respect 1800 737 732. Confidential telephone and online counselling.
- Family Relationships Advice 1800 050 321. Counselling service to assist families impacted by separation.
Support for CommBank customers:
- Customer Support Service 1300 360 793. Three free phone counselling sessions for all CommBank customers.
- If you are experiencing financial abuse, domestic violence or are impacted by problem gambling, you can contact our Next Chapter team for specialist support.
- Message us in the CommBank app to have your banking questions answered or be connected to the right specialist. Otherwise you can call us on 13 22 21 for everyday banking support, 13 22 24 for lending support (including Everyday Offset accounts) or visit a branch.