Going through a divorce or separation is an extremely difficult experience; among the emotional challenges are the financial issues.
There are various things to consider after a break-up, such as separating your finances, organizing your Will, insurance, super and closing off joint accounts.
Here is a checklist of some of the main things you can do after a separation or divorce:
It is a good idea to close off joint bank accounts and open a new account that only you can access. Consider cancelling joint credit cards and change your pins and passwords. Also, have a chat to your bank about cancelling any redraw facility on your home loan.
Any insurance policies that were held in both names should be cancelled. Take out a new insurance policy in your name alone. Also, consider reviewing your beneficiaries on any existing life insurance policies and update them accordingly.
Be sure to update your utility bills (i.e. gas, phone, internet, water, electricity) to only include the relevant person on the name of the bill. If your name is on the account, you can still be held liable for unpaid bills.
Update legal documents, such as your Will. Most likely the executor, beneficiaries, guardianship and power of attorney arrangements will need to be adjusted for the change in circumstances.
Ask your ex-partner to remove you as an executor under their Will and revoke your role under any power of attorney or guardianship of your ex-partner. Also, be sure to update your superannuation to make sure the payout goes to the person you intend it to go to.
If you have a mortgage, let your lender know you have separated, and work out a plan to cover the mortgage repayments during the property settlement.