Separation Checklist

11 December 2018

Whilst Christmas and the summer holidays is mostly a joyous time of relaxation and catching up for families, it is also a time for reflection and big decisions. As a general rule we find that there is a spike in relationship breakdowns over this time.

If you are contemplating a separation there are some important things to consider first:

  1. If you are the prime carer for the children and wish to remain the prime carer for the children do not move out on your own and leave the children in the home with your partner. It may be very difficult to wind back the clock. This is of course subject to safety concerns. If the safety concerns are bad enough, then you should be moving out taking the children with you.
  2. Where is the money? As much as possible make sure that you have a nest egg of funds that are in your sole control. Beware that generally money in joint accounts can be taken out by either of you. It may pay to get in first!
  3. Do you need a caveat? If the house or other properties are in the sole name of your partner, then it is ideal to go to a lawyer and consider placing caveats over the title as soon as possible. This means your partner cannot dispose of the property without your knowledge.
  4. If there is a history of family violence or you have an apprehension that your partner will commit family violence especially when the reality of the separation dawns on them, it is important to investigate whether an IVO is desirable. Your local Magistrates’ Court or Police can assist with this process.
  5. In most circumstances it is helpful to see a counsellor with your partner to determine in a safe and objective environment as to whether the relationship can continue or should end. If your partner refuses to attend, you should still attend yourself to make sure you are emotionally ready to separate.
  6. Finally and most importantly – see a lawyer for an initial appointment to get a comprehensive overview of the law, answer your questions and map out the best way forward in your particular circumstances.”

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