If you are considering a separation from your partner, whether
you decide to proceed or not, it is imperative you seek the advice
of professionals including lawyers and accountants. Seeking this
advice will ensure you are sufficiently informed about issues and
possible actions that need to be taken, particularly in regard to
financial matters, should you decide to proceed with the
Some matters to consider prior to or shortly after separation
Often it is the case that one party works whilst one stays home,
or otherwise earns a minimal income. The parties' savings are
generally held in an account in one of the parties' names, or
jointly where either party can remove it without notice to the
other. We often see situations where a party will remove all monies
from the joint account or prevent the other party to access money
shortly after separation, affecting their ability to pay the
mortgage, bills and groceries. Therefore it is important that
individuals consider their financial position at separation,
particularly if it may be difficult to access an account or seek
income from the other party. Whilst there are provisions for
spousal maintenance and interim property settlement in the Family
Law Act, it can sometimes be time consuming and costly to apply to
the Court for those Orders to be made. Therefore, should you
foresee that it would be difficult to access money in the
intervening period, it is important that you set yourself up prior
In circumstances where parties either go to Court, or agree to a
settlement, it is necessary that they provide full and frank
disclosure of their financial circumstances to the other party.
This will include the provision of bank statements, details as to
superannuation and any other income or asset that is in the
parties' names. Therefore, it is important that you have access
to that material at the time of separation and have a rough idea of
the assets and liabilities of the relationship, in case it becomes
necessary at a later date to seek specific documents that are not
provided. We often advise our clients to take with them, upon
separating, copies of all financial records relating to the assets
and liabilities of both parties in order to be certain that all
assets are known and will be included in the assets pool.
Ultimately, the people who seek family law advice prior to
separating are in a better position where they are informed and
aware of the implications of their actions, prior to making the
decision to separate. They are then equipped to make the best
decision for themselves and their children in order to resolve the
issue quickly and effectively.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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There are several requirements that must be completed by an executor before the distribution of assets to beneficiaries.
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