Getting divorced is hard, and all too often represents the end of your dreams or some of them. Make a list of where you would like to be two, five or ten years from today, and begin to work towards those goals.
Getting divorced is one of the top three most stressful life events, and (depending on your personal circumstances) you may not feel like trusting anyone at all. But here are some tips from a family law firm in Sydney that will help you get through some of the practical and everyday changes that a break-up will inflict on you, especially your finances after divorce.
Think of the Children
This may seem obvious or clichéd, but many people assume that of course the children will be looked after until they reach their majority. Even if you are both in verbal agreement at the time of the divorce, it is best to get a payment schedule agreed in writing and witnessed: who knows what changes a few years may wreak? New spouses, new half-brothers and sisters, job changes and even growing distance between parents and children can tempt one party into wanting to pay less. Having a divorce settlement in effect will ensure that your children are looked after until adulthood.
Take Charge ASAP
Often in a family, one partner is in charge of the finances while the other contributes financially or physically to the wellbeing of all. As soon as the divorce is agreed, you should both begin to separate out the finances. While often break-ups can be hurtful, avoid the temptation to be malicious when taking apart your home. If you can agree on an equal division of property, great, otherwise, third parties can evaluate and divide up the contents of the home and bank accounts on your behalf. Ensure that you both know your rights and responsibilities as regarding the dismantling of your home.
Close Joint Accounts
Any accounts that have both your names on them should be closed or, if the company will allow it, divided into two. If there are liabilities attached to joint accounts, work out between you whether it should be evenly split between you or if the one partner who benefits most from the account should pay more. During this process you may be tempted to just agree to everything they suggest, or ask to deal with it later – this is not a good idea. Knowing exactly where you stand financially should be ascertained sooner rather than later, no matter how heart-sore you are.
Learn to budget properly: putting down your income and assets, and then listing all your monthly and weekly outgoings – and do not forget things that might have been taken care of as a couple during your marriage, such as insurance, healthcare and pensions. Once you have a good idea of how much you will need to survive each month, you can plan to increase working hours or how to cut costs, whichever is most feasible.
Check your existing accounts (or your new ones, if you are having to open up accounts) to ensure that you know and are exploiting any benefits they offer. For example, if your bank account offers you free mobile phone insurance, ensure that your phone’s details are listed. If any account benefits do not match up to the service fee that you pay, consider changing the account to a cheaper one.
Getting divorced is hard, and all too often represents the end of your dreams or some of them. Make a list of where you would like to be two, five or ten years from today, and begin to work towards those goals, whether it is a holiday abroad or simply being debt-free. Before you know it, these goals will be your new dreams, and you will be achieving them without any help. Our family law specialists can help you stay on your feet while you are going through a divorce, ensuring you understand all the options available to you.