Separation and divorce

 Separation and Divorce

The conclusion of a relationship is a trying time for everyone involved.

Along with the emotional trials of divorce or separation can come financial issues. Dealing with these quickly and efficiently will help you move on sooner and start your new life afresh. There are a few steps you can take to limit the financial and logistical toll.

Separate your finances

Most couples become financially intertwined over the course of a relationship. Even though it can be painful, splitting your assets can be both sensible and cathartic. Some finances will obviously be harder to divide than others. Assets like houses and shares will need to be discussed and might be part of legal divorce proceedings.

There might be other, smaller matters you can deal with sooner. If you’ve been relying on joint accounts, it’s time to establish your own. Make sure your salary is being credited into a solo account. If you’re on a rental agreement with your partner, update the lease or discuss terminating it as soon as practicable. Being financially independent will help limit the emotional baggage.

Make the necessary adjustments

The end of a relationship involves inevitable changes in lifestyle and circumstances. It may have been a while since you lived on a single income. A financial stock-take will help you understand your short-term independent finances, before things like divorce settlements are finalised.

In your relationship, you may not have been very involved with managing finances. If so, it’s time to reacquaint yourself. Gathering your documents together is a good start. Figure out what investments, utility bills, credit cards, accounts or insurance policies are under your name, and note which ones won’t be impacted by your separation. Budgeting will help you adjust to your new situation. Use our Budget Planner Calculator to consider different scenarios.

Update your details

While you might be separated in nearly every other way, a paper trail often still links you. After a separation or divorce you should always review your personal details. Update your Will to reflect you new circumstances. Check that all of your insurance is still relevant. Check where your superannuation is, and be prepared for the possibility of having to split it.

When you are going through the trying time of a divorce or separation, take care of yourself and ensure you have the support you need to get through it.