Going through a divorce or separation is never easy. Having your finances under control is important to take the next step.
Step 1: Open your own bank account
Step 2: Close any joint accounts
If you had shared accounts you’ll want to close these as soon as possible. To do this you’ll need to make sure the account isn’t overdrawn and you may also need approval from both account holders.
If there are any disputes between yourself and the other account holder it’s likely the bank will put a hold on your account so no money can be withdrawn until a resolution is reached.
Step 3: Cancel any joint or additional credit cards
Start by cancelling all direct debits and working out a plan to pay back any balance still outstanding. Once the balance is cleared, get in contact with your bank to cancel the credit card. Depending on your arrangement you may both need to agree to cancel the credit card or just one of you may be able to do it.
Step 4: Look at your living situation
If you were renting, you may need to update the rental agreement if one of you moves out. Discuss how future rent payments will be made and also how you will divide the bond if it is repaid at the end of the lease.
If you own a home together there are a few key things to think about:
- Do you want to sell the property? If so, will there be a charge for paying out your mortgage early?
- Is one of you willing to buy out the other’s share of the property?
Make an appointment with a home lending specialist if you want to discuss your options.
Step 5: List joint assets and liabilities
Start dividing your joint assets and try agree who will pay for what joint liabilities. You may want to get professional advice on the best way to do this. Check out MoneySmart for more information.
Step 6: Sort out superannuation
As it’s not immediate, superannuation can be one of the things that slips to the back of your mind. You can determine how much is to be divided through a superannuation agreement or court order. See more about splitting superannuation.
Step 7: Update your will and life insurance
If you have a will and/or life insurance it’s likely that these will need to be updated.