The division of property can start from the moment you separate.
Make sure you keep items that are most precious to you safe, even if you don’t know who will be keeping what.
Find out what you are entitled to in your particular circumstances.
Know exactly what there is to be divided. Sometimes property is held by companies, businesses and trusts. There may be other family members or business partners. You will need to know the value of everything.
Superannuation can be complicated and the relevant value may not be entirely clear.
Make up a list of all assets, liabilities and superannuation that you know of for everything in your own name, your partner’s name and in your joint names.
You will need to find out what your partner earns, including all the added benefits and employment entitlements.
Your lawyer will want bank statements, super statements, tax returns, employment contracts and financial records for any business.
Think about the children, if you have any, and where they will spend most of their time as this may affect the amount of property you will get to keep.
Be wary about discussions with your partner until you have had advice and you have an idea about what you are entitled to. It is not easy to work out the best way to divide everything up, what to keep and what to let go.
The prospect of one household becoming two separate entities is not always rosy, and particularly so when dividing finances.
You need to be completely sure that you are setting up your own future as well as you possibly can. Discuss all aspects of your separation and your financial concerns with your lawyer so that you have comprehensive advice and that important details are not overlooked.
Although it is a stressful and expensive time, your property settlement is a major financial decision that can affect your future for a long time. A measured approach is best.
For more advice about the divorce process, contact one of our experienced family lawyers for a no obligation interview.