There is a lot to keep track of if you are in the process of separating from your partner/spouse. This list should help you to avoid missing some particularly important practical and legal steps.
Property & finance
Contact your bank to confirm whether you have a line of credit or redraw facility on any loan. If you do have funds available through a line of credit or redraw facility, consider freezing these accounts immediately to prevent your ex-partner/spouse running up debt or emptying the account. If you have joint accounts, consider asking the bank to restrict them so withdrawals must be approved by both you and your ex-partner/spouse.
Contact the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) to notify it of your separation and have your ex-partner/spouse removed as a person who may access your tax records.
Contact your superannuation fund(s) and have your ex-partner/spouse removed as a beneficiary under the binding and non-binding death benefit nomination.
Compile financial documentation including bank statements, tax returns and financial statements for any business, so that you can give copies to your Family Lawyers.
Apply for a Child Support Assessment through the Child Support Agency. This can be done online, from csa.gov.au . This website also allows you to estimate the likely amount of child support payments. Generally, the most cost-effective method of obtaining child support is by applying for an Assessment through the Child Support Agency, at least to begin with. Later you may wish to consider a Binding Child Support Agreement to make child support more predictable.
If you will be required to pay child support, you can access the estimator on the child support agency website at csa.gov.au to find out how much you are likely to have to pay.
Spousal maintenance applications
If you need financial support from your ex-partner/spouse, complete our Weekly Expenditure sheet and provide it to our Family Law team.
Keep a diary of your interactions with your children and the other parent, including times that you spend with your children, telephone contact, and any concerns that you have about the other party. This can provide vital information if you need to file court proceedings.
Provide a copy of your marriage certificate to our Family Law team.
Provide a copy of your previous Divorce certificate (if you have one already) to our Family Law team.
Provide a copy of your children’s birth certificates to our Family Law team.
Review your Will
It is important to make a new Will after separation. If your current Will leaves most assets to your ex-partner/spouse, the fact that you have separated does not change that. If you do not have a current Will, then depending on the precise circumstances, your ex-partner/spouse could potentially receive all your assets if you were to pass away.
Our sister company, Legal Essentials, can help you with your Will and estate planning. They can even meet with you at the same time as your Family Lawyer.