10 Easy Steps To Do During A Divorce To Avoid A Messy Situation

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While divorce can be emotionally messy, knowing what is expected in terms of professional and legal matters can avoid additional stress between both parties.

Here are ten key steps to take to keep your divorce clean.

  1. Seek Legal Advice

Seek legal advice concerning access to children, marital property and financial matters. If you are unsure of your legal position or want to look after your own divorce, a solicitor can assess your situation and advise you concerning your legal rights before you start negotiating with your ex-spouse.

  1. Sever Joint Tenancies 

Joint tenancy means that if one of the joint owners dies, the deceased’s share is automatically passed on to the other joint tenant. If you die, your interest may be automatically inherited by your spouse or partner. Severing the joint tenancy will ensure that your share is dealt with per your wishes.

  1. Update Your Will

Before the divorce, any gifts to your ex-partner in your Will remain valid. If you die suddenly during separation and before your divorce is finalised, your ex-partner may inherit your property.

  1. Seek Financial Advice

You should seek financial advice before making any legal decisions. Seeking financial advice will enable you to make an informed decision about your future.

  1. Know Your Legal Limitation Periods

A Divorce Order cannot be applied for before 12 months of living separately and apart from your partner. Once the divorce order becomes final, a property application must be made within 12 months from the date of divorce if a property settlement has not already been finalised.

  1. Update Your Superannuation Death Benefit Nomination

A superannuation ‘death benefit’ includes the money in the deceased’s super account at the time of death plus any life insurance cover through the super fund. If your ex-partner is listed as your beneficiary, your death benefit may be paid to your ex-partner. You should review this situation.

  1. Review Your Bank Accounts 

It is important that you set up your own finances and restrict your spouse or partner’s access. If you open a new account in your name make sure that your pay is going into this account. You may need to talk to your bank to cancel any access your ex-partner may have to accounts in your name and close off joint bank accounts. It may also be necessary to change joint loans and mortgages to require joint signatories to withdraw any funds and limit or cancel any redraw facilities.

  1. Update your Power of Attorney

You must revoke any Power of Attorney your partner or spouse may have. While they still have Power of Attorney, they may deal with your property or financial affairs after separation without your knowledge.

  1. Provide Copies Of Financial Records To Your Solicitor

If you are separating from your spouse or partner you may be wondering how property and financial assets will be divided. When you meet with your solicitor about settling property and financial matters you will be asked a number of questions about your circumstances including joint and individual assets and liabilities, bank accounts, credit cards, shares, superannuation entitlements, and any business or company interests. It is important to have as much detail as possible, and it will help if you can bring copies of financial records, including statements and pay slips, with you.

  1. Review Your Budget

Review your budget. You may need to speak to a solicitor about seeking interim property or spousal maintenance orders.

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