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Divorce Melbourne

Financial Checklist

Financial

 

Financial Support

 

  1. Do you earn an income or does your former partner or spouse provide you with financial support?

  2. If you earn an income:

    • Into what account is it being deposited?

    • Does your former partner or spouse have access to that account?

    • Do you need to set up a bank account in your sole name?

  3. If you do not earn an income:

    • How much income does your former partner or spouse earn on a weekly, fortnightly or monthly basis?

    • What is your weekly, fortnightly or monthly expenditure now that you are separated?

    • Whether you have agreed with your former spouse or partner on a weekly, fortnightly or monthly amount they will provide you by way of financial support?

    • Are you entitled to receive any Centrelink benefits?

  4. Do you have arrangements in place for the financial support of the children?

 

You are able to go to the website of the Department of Human Services (Child Support) to estimate the amount of child support that is payable.

         

The Family Home

 

  1. Do you own the family home or is it rented?

  2. Do you wish to retain the family home as part of any final property settlement that you receive?

  3. Does the family home need to be sold as part of any final property settlement? If so, do any works need to be completed to the family home to prepare it for sale?

  4. Is the family home registered in joint names or in the sole name of your former partner or spouse?

  5. If the family home is registered in the sole name of your former partner or spouse, do you need to urgently lodge a Caveat to secure your interest and to prevent the sale of the family home without your knowledge?

  6. If you choose to stay in the family home:

    • Is there a mortgage and if so, how much are the monthly mortgage repayments?

    • If there is a mortgage, who is going to continue to meet the mortgage repayments?

    • If the family home is rented, does the landlord need to be informed  of the separation and the name of your former partner or spouse removed from the lease?

    • Who is going to continue to meet the ongoing rates and utilities (for example, water, electricity, gas, telephone and internet connection) and whether the accounts need to be transferred into the sole name of the person who is going to remain living in the family home?

    • Who is going to continue to meet the ongoing insurance payments?

 

Leaving the Family Home

 

  1. If you are leaving the family home:

    • What items of furniture and household contents would you like to take with you? Or if you are unable to remove the items, prepare a list of what you would like to retain as part of any final property settlement;

    • Have you taken all of your personal effects (for example, clothing, shoes, photographs or items of sentimental value). Or if you are unable to remove the items, prepare a list of what you would like to retain as part of any final property settlement;

    • Have you taken your personal identity and other documents (for example, birth certificate, passport, driver’s licence, Medicare card, tax returns, bank statements, superannuation statements, health insurance details, life insurance policies, income protection documents or medical records);

  2. Have you arranged for your mail to be re-directed to another address?

  3. Have you contacted the various institutions or organisations you have ongoing dealings with to advise of your new address?

 

Investment Properties

 

  1. Do you own an investment property(ies)?

  2. Is the investment property(ies) registered in joint names or in the sole name of your former partner or spouse?

  3. If the investment property(ies) is registered in the sole name of your former partner or spouse, do you need to urgently lodge a Caveat to secure your interest and to prevent the sale of the property(ies) without your knowledge?

  4. Is the investment property(ies) rented?

  5. Do you wish to retain the investment property(ies) as part of any final property settlement that you receive?

  6. Does the investment property(ies) need to be sold as part of any final property settlement?

  7. If the investment property(ies) is rented is there any possibility that the lease can be terminated so that you or your former partner or spouse can move in?

  8. Is there a mortgage secured against the investment property(ies) and if so, how much are the monthly mortgage repayments?

  9. How much is the monthly rental income received and is there a shortfall between that and the monthly mortgage repayments?

  10. Who is going to meet the shortfall in the mortgage repayments and the other expenses associated with the investment property(ies)?

 

Bank Accounts

 

  1. If you and your former partner or spouse have joint or other bank accounts:

    • Are there funds in the accounts? If so, how much?

    • If there are funds in the accounts how should they be dealt with?

    • Can you and your former partner or spouse access the accounts without the consent of the other? If so, what can be done to ensure that neither of you can access the accounts without the consent of the other?

    • If you and your former partner or spouse agree to close any joint or other bank accounts, are there are any direct debits from these accounts? If so,  what arrangements have been made for these ongoing payments to be met?

  2. If you and your former partner or spouse have loans in either joint names or even individually are either of you able to increase the liability(ies) without the knowledge of the other? If so,  what can be done to ensure that neither of you do this?

  3. If you and your former partner or spouse have joint credit cards or access to credit cards in the capacity of a secondary credit card holder:

    • What is the limit on the credit card and can the limit be lowered if required?

    • Does your former partner or spouse continue to have access to the credit card?

 

If you wish to stop your former partner or spouse from having access to the credit card, you should inform them and ensure they have access to other funds prior to making the necessary arrangements.

 

  1. Do you have the following details of all the bank accounts in your name, your former partner or spouse’s name or in joint names:

    • Name of the bank or financial institution;

    • Name of the account;

    • BSB and account number;

    • Current balance; and

    • Copies of most recent statements.

 

Motor Vehicles

 

  1. Is the motor vehicle you are driving registered in your name?

  2. Is the motor vehicle your former partner or spouse driving registered in your name?

  3. If the motor vehicle is registered in your name and your former partner or spouse is driving it:

    • Do you wish to retain the motor vehicle as part of any final property settlement?

    • Is there agreement that your former partner or spouse can continue to drive the motor vehicle?

    • Who will continue to pay for the motor vehicle registration and where will the notices be sent?

    • Who will pay for any fines or traffic infringements and where will such notices be sent?

    • Who will pay for the ongoing car insurance and where will such notices be sent?

  4. What are the arrangements in place for any Citylink and/or E-Tag accounts?

  5. Do you have an RACV membership? If so, who is going to maintain the membership?

 

Health

 

  1. Do you have health insurance?

  2. Will you and your former partner or spouse continue to maintain the existing plan? If so, who will continue to make the payments?

  3. If you and your former partner or spouse decide to take out separate plans, on whose health insurance will the children be included?

  4. Have you contacted Medicare to advise that you and your former partner or spouse have separated?

  5. Have you contacted your family GP to advise that you and your former partner or spouse have separated?

  6. Have you changed the details of your emergency contacts following your separation?

 

Computers, Mobile Telephones and Other Electronic Devices
 
  1. Do you have personal information on the family computer, laptop, tablet or iPad that you do not want your former partner or spouse to have access?

  2. Can your former partner or spouse access your email account(s), twitter, Facebook, eBay, LinkedIn, Paypal, ITunes, share trading and Amazon accounts?

  3. Does your former partner or spouse have access to your mobile telephone or alternatively, the text messages or emails that you receive on your mobile telephone, iPad or tablet?

 

Accountants and Financial Planners

 

  1. Do you and your former partner or spouse share the same accountant and/or financial planner?

  2. If you do share the same accountant and/or financial planner:

    • Advise the accountant and/or financial planner that you have separated;

    • Speak to your accountant and/or financial planner about the consequences of your separation and how it may affect their dealings with you and your former partner or spouse; and

    • If you are comfortable for your accountant and/or financial planner to continue to act on your behalf and that of your former partner or spouse enquire whether they are comfortable to do this.

 

Information to gather for your Lawyer

 

To assist your lawyer in providing advice to you in relation to financial matters following separation, it will help if you do the following:

 

  1. Make a detailed list of the assets, liabilities and financial resources (such as superannuation, interests in family trusts or deceased estates) including ownership and estimated values that you and your former partner or spouse currently own;

  2. Gather copies of the following documents for you and your former partner or spouse:

    • Payslips (for the last 3 months);

    • Tax returns and notices of assessments (for the last 3 financial years);

    • Employment contracts;

    • Bank statements;

    • Superannuation statements;

    • Loan documents;

    • Leases;

    • Hire purchase agreements;

    • Trust deeds (including subsequent amendments or variations);

    • Company and trust financial records (for the last 3 years);

    • Insurance policies;

    • Income protection policies;

    • Wills; and

    • Powers of Attorney(s);

3.      Names and contact details of any accountant you and/or your former partner or spouse use.