What to Do if You Are Recently Separated: Here’s a Checklist


The breakdown of a relationship brings emotional upheaval for everyone involved.  Trying to negotiate property settlement and what is going to happen with the kids can be overwhelming and quite daunting.


1. Bank Accounts

Do you and your spouse have any joint bank accounts or loans?  Does your spouse have access to bank accounts or credit cards which are in your name solely?


2. Company Director

Are you a director of a company that you have nothing to do with?  Is the company run solely by your spouse or by your spouse and another person(s)?


3. Trust

Are either you or your spouse a beneficiary of a trust?  Are either of you the trustee or appointor of a trust?


4. Power of Attorney

Have you signed a Power of Attorney naming your estranged spouse as the person who can make decisions on your behalf?


5. Advance Care Directives

Have you signed Advance Care Directives naming your spouse as your substitute decision maker?


6. Will

Does your Will name your spouse as a beneficiary of your estate?


7. Superannuation

Have you named your spouse as a binding death nominee in your superannuation fund?


8. Real Estate

Does your spouse own any property in his or her name solely or with another person(s) other than you?  Do you and your spouse own property together?


9. Spousal Maintenance

Are you paying or receiving regular payments from or to your spouse since separation (not child support), e.g., assistance to pay utility bills, food, rent etc?


So, What now?

An experienced family law solicitor can assist you to negotiate with your spouse in an attempt to come to an agreement about property settlement.  Without proper legal advice about the above issues, you may be agreeing to a property settlement that is unfair and therefore unable to be enforced by the court in the event that either one of you do not stick to the agreement reached.

Before attending your first appointment with your solicitor, you ought to make sure that you can provide a list of all of your and your spouse’s assets, liabilities and financial resources (e.g., if you are a beneficiary of a trust).  At Bambrick Legal, we offer all of our clients free access to our Family Law online forum to assist you and us to prepare this list.

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