So you have separated, but now what?
In fact, what is a divorce? In Australia, it is simply the legal dissolution of a marriage and can be applied for after you have been separated for at least 12 months.
Getting a divorce is quite different to getting a property settlement.
A property settlement should be considered early in a separation, even before you are eligible to apply for a divorce.
The first step is to gather whatever documents you have that show the assets and liabilities owned by you and your partner.
Once you have this, you should take it to a lawyer for more detailed advice on your entitlements.
If you don’t know what the assets are, or if you can’t get your hands on documents, don’t worry, a good family lawyer will know what to look for, and how to get it.
So what documents should you look to gather? The list below is a good start:-
- Marriage certificate
- Birth certificates of any children
- Copies of the latest bank or credit union statements
- Details of all shares and or other investments
- Yours and your partners income tax returns for at least the last financial year
- The last year’s tax returns or financial statements for any trust or company that you and or your husband are involved in
- Statements from Centrelink showing pension payment details
- Your latest superannuation member statement for each of yours and your partners super funds
- Any appraisals for any real estate that you own
- Any trust deeds or company constitution
- The settlement statement for the purchase of any real estate each of you may own
- The registration documents for any motor vehicles
- Details of any inheritances either of you may have received during the relationship
- Details of any compensation payments each of you may have received during the relationship or be entitled to
- Any medical records which may indicate a diminished ability to work.
The first step in the divorce process, once you have separated, or know you are going to separate would be to gather up as much information about the financial position of not only yourself but your former partner.
For more advice about the divorce process, contact one of our experienced family lawyers via our contact page or call 1800 324 324.