Have you just separated? Are you thinking of separating? If so, here is a list of useful things to do as soon as you can.
1. Take Important Things with You
If you are going to leave, then take all your important things with you. Don’t bank on being able to get them later. Lawyers have often dealt with separated parties who take perverse delight in not handing over something their former spouse really, really needs or wants. Sometimes a party is not able to get their child’s medication, their own family heirlooms, the childrens’ sporting equipment, photographs, passports, birth certificates, financial documents – the list goes on. The lesson? If you need it. If you want it. Take it. Now.
2. Tell your Kids Together
Agree with your former partner on what to tell your Children and do it together. You are going to have to learn to co-parent some time. Start now. The kids will have questions. It will be best for the children to learn about their parent’s separation from you together, not get different stories from each of you. Don’t confuse them. Don’t make it worse for them. Find a way to do this one thing for them.
3. Get Mail Redirected
If you’re living under the same roof, or you are the one to leave, get your mail redirected. The reasons for this are to prevent unauthorised access of your mail and to ensure that important mail does not get withheld from you. Many a lawyer has had clients say to them, no I’ll be right, he/she won’t do that. Then their former spouse does, and the client is surprised.
Once you’re separated, your former spouse wants to see into all your private stuff. They will open mail, read it, keep it and not care about either when, or if, it eventually gets to you. This often happens even if you don’t think they will do that. Don’t take the chance. Hurt people seem to love hurting the other person too.
4. Change your Passwords
For the same reasons, change all of your passwords. Even if you don’t think your husband/wife/partner knows your password. You’d be surprised how many sneakily do. You don’t want them being able to access your email, your banking etc. Sometimes an upset spouse won’t stop at reading or sticky beaking. The scorned wife of one client once sent an email to everyone in his address book (friends and business colleagues) telling them about the numerous extra marital affairs he had been having, as well as some ‘outing’ him about some nasty habits he would have preferred to keep private.
5. Get a New Bank Account
If you don’t want your spouse to access the wages that get paid into your joint bank account (or a bank account they have access to) then open a new bank account.
6. Protect your Finances
Take steps to protect funds in joint bank accounts and make sure that any credit cards or lines of credit can’t be ‘maxed out’. It is extremely common for a spouse to empty bank accounts or max out credit cards and then refuse to pay the funds back, even if it leaves the other person in the lurch or without any money.
7. Make a New Will
Make a new Will. Separation does not invalidate your old Will, only Divorce does. Making a new Will after you have separated has some complexities to it. Make sure you use a lawyer to do it properly.
8. Update Superannuation Beneficiaries
Contact all of your Superannuation providers and nominate a new beneficiary if you don’t want your spouse to receive your Superannuation and Life Insurance if you pass away.Posted on