In order to protect your assets and guard against increasing liabilities, when you separate from either a marriage or a de facto relationship, there are some fundamental actions that should be undertaken immediately.
If your former partner was the one who took care of the money, you will need to find out how things were organised and decide how you want to manage your finances.
Focus on setting yourself up for the future.
Some things you can do to protect your finances:
- Close off your joint accounts – Consider closing your joint account. Talk to your bank to establish your own account with your own pool of money, and make sure the other joint account holder can’t access it. Check that your pay is going into this account.
- Do a financial stocktake – List all your assets, and any debts or joint debts
- Record your turning points – Note down the dates of your separation in a diary or notepad. You can use this when you apply for a divorce as proof that you have been separated for at least 12 months.
- Cancel your redraw facility – Talk to your bank to cancel any redraw facility on your home loan to make sure your debts don’t grow.
- Update your rental agreement – If your name is on the lease then you are liable for any unpaid rent or damage caused by your partner.
- Update your utility bills – If your name is on the account then you are liable for any unpaid bill.
Seek legal advice – From an Accredited Family Law Specialist Solicitor about separating property held in joint names, taking action, if property is held in your partner’s sole name, to prevent it being sold before the property settlement, and to update your Will.