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November 23, 2014
Separation Checklist: Practical Things to Consider

Here is a checklist of some practical things for you to consider upon separation:

Make an appointment to see LB&H as soon as possible. Knowing your rights early will protect you and your children, your assets and hopefully prevent court action and help you reach an amicable solution.

Try to talk to your partner and see if you can agree on interim arrangements for the children and the living arrangements during the separation.

If you are safe, do not leave your home without seeking legal advice as it’s often recommended to stay there.

If your partner leaves with the children, try to set up arrangements as soon as possible to see them regularly and make sure that the children have your mobile number so they can contact you.

If the children are staying with you set up arrangements for your partner to spend time with them.

If you move out consider what personal items to take with you such as family photos, items of sentimental value and heirlooms.

Many of these items can be divided later but if you don’t want to be sidetracked by a dispute over a sentimental item later, you might consider taking it when you leave. Also take your personal papers and computer with you.

Lodge the necessary change of address notices as soon as possible and have your mail held or redirected. Don’t rely on your partner to forward important mail to you unopened.

You might consider opening a post office box in your name so you can easily receive your mail without fear of it being opened by your partner if you separate under the one roof.

Set up a new email address if there is any chance your partner can access your current email address. You should also change passwords to any accounts your partner has access.

Check and print out balances of all banking accounts, home loans, term deposits, investments, store cards, credit cards, overdrafts and lines of credit.

Change passwords to any personal banking information your partner may have access to.

Keep an eye on account balances and any movements in them. Contact LB&H immediately if you notice anything unusual.

If your partner leaves and takes a car registered in your name or joint names you will need to make sure that it remains registered and insured. As the owner you are still liable for losses if there is an accident.

Visit the Department of Human Services website to estimate the amount of child support payable and The Child Support website for information about how to apply to pay or receive child support and how much will be payable.

Seek advice about any financial or parenting agreements you reach. If it is not properly documented it won’t be binding and enforceable.

Copy financial information and other important documents on your computer to a CD or USB drive.

Even if you are separating under the one roof take copies of all the important personal documents together such as passports, birth certificates, marriage certificates, citizenship certificates, medical records, bank records, superannuation statements and school reports.

Assets acquired or received after separation will be taken into account in a settlement so consider getting legal advice sooner rather than later.

If violence, intimidation or harassment are in issue make an appointment with LBH or go to your Local Police to ascertain whether you should apply for an Violence Restraining Order

To make an appointment to ensure you will be able to relax knowing that your matter is in our hands and that you are getting the best advice possible to assist you during this time, please contact Sue Holgate, Partner at LBH on