Whenever a couple separates and is heading for divorce either one of them might feel like they are in an emotional whirlpool of stress, anger, and anxiety. They may not be able to think straight so practical matters like hiring divorce lawyers or sitting down to plan out finances may not yet have occurred to them.
Should you ever find yourself in this situation, it is important to know that there is plenty of support across several areas available such as legal, emotional, and finance. In fact, finding support is number one on our list of essential things to do if you separate, so let us look at that list in more detail.
Find Help And Support
As we said, the first thing you need to do is seek out those who can help and support you. This may include your family with regards to emotional support, and most certainly, you will want a divorce lawyer to advise you and help you through the legalities of the divorce.
Sort Out Living Arrangements
In most cases of separation, one of the parties moves out and thus needs to find a place to live, and if that’s you, then obviously this must be a high priority. One thing to consider, especially if the separation is amicable and you have children, is that you can still live in the same house with your ex but be considered separated for the purposes of divorce criteria, provided you sleep in separate bedrooms.
Secure Your Personal Belongings, Especially Valuables
If you separate and move out, you should take as many of your personal belongings with you, especially those that you consider valuable, and are important, such as legal documents like your passport, and financial paperwork. Trying to retrieve these later, especially if the split is acrimonious, can be difficult, and may require a court order, which may take time, and costs money.
Consider Your Finances
This will differ for everyone depending on their financial status but some of the basics could include opening a bank account , if you do not have one, contacting creditors if you have debts you are struggling to repay or applying for help from the Department of Human Services. You also want to seek advice from your divorce lawyer about what you are going to propose with regards to the property settlement and child support.
Sort Out Joint Bank Accounts And Assets
As a joint bank account is considered a joint asset any money in such an account should be divided equally. This also applies to jointly held stocks and shares. As for joint liabilities, loans, and credit cards, these are usually split, although that very much depends on the financial position of each spouse.
Consider Arrangements For The Children
Some of the most important arrangements which need to be sorted following separation are those relating to the children. Initially, you will want to establish which parent they will live with primarily and make arrangements for visitation for the other parent. If this can all be done by both parents mutually agreeing it will be better for the children, rather than the Family Court deciding.
Update Legal Documents
Documents and policies such as your will, superannuation, and life insurance will need to be updated especially if the beneficiary is no longer going to be the spouse whom you have separated from. The best person to help you with these is once again your divorce lawyer.