- Consider your behaviour and communication with your ex-spouse. It might be impacting negatively on a property or parenting agreement.
- Acknowledge to yourself if you are not coping and engage a counsellor or therapist It is important to have a good support system when managing a break-up.
- Make an inventory of your current assets and liabilities. This will be crucial in negotiating any property settlement or when proceeding at court.
- Make or keep copies of all financial records. This can save time and legal fees.
- Do make a note of your separation date! It can be crucial for time frames at court.
- Get advice early.
- Know your legal rights and responsibilities. Consult an experienced family lawyer. It can avoid many problems and may be the difference between an expensive costly court battle and a swift agreement by consent.
- If necessary, get tax advice as well. Separation and division of assets can create tax issues.
- Review and if necessary update your Will and Enduring Power of Attorney. Upon separation, your wishes for your Estate may change. If so, it is an urgent matter to address.
- If you have property held under a “Joint Tenancy”, you may want to severe that tenancy so your share of the property falls into your Estate to be dealt with under your will.
- Be honest. Trying to hide assets or facts can extend the process and cost you more (much more) in legal fees.
- Explore mediation if at all possible for both property and parenting issues. Community services such as Uniting Care and Relationships Australia can assist. Their details are on the internet.
- Don’t ignore any legal proceedings you might be served with. It can be tempting to bury your head but inaction may very well create more issues and stress.
- Don’t listen to “pub talk”. Third hand legal advice is invariably inaccurate or not applicable to your circumstances.
- Don’t sign anything without seeking your own independent legal advice.
- Don’t use your lawyer as a therapist. They care but their time that you are paying for can be used in more effective ways.
- Don’t use your children as bargaining chips. Your ex may suffer but so will your children.