Separation Checklist

02 September, 2021

So you have separated from your partner or spouse, what next?

Separation or breakdown of a marriage can be a difficult stressful time for all.

There are a number of steps you can take to help you navigate the pathway from this chapter of your life to the next.


Read our post here about how parents make care arrangements for children following separation.

Contact Interrelate or Relationships Australia to explore the services they have available to assist with coming to an agreement about parenting arrangements for the children.

If your children are at risk of harm or you are feeling pressured by your partner or spouse to put in place arrangements for them, contact us for advice today.

Be aware of the impact of the separation on the children and if necessary seek professional support for them also through a counsellor or service such as Uniting Care Anchor Program.

Ensure you have the original (if possible) or certified copies of children’s birth certificates, passports, visas and other important documents.

Speak with the children’s teachers or carers so they understand what is happening in the children’s lives.

Check your Child Support entitlements or obligation and speak to use for expert advice re child support.

Contact Centrelink if you are entitled to Family Tax Benefit A or Family Tax Benefit B.

If you feel threatened or at risk or are experiencing domestic violence, attend your local Police Station to report it or contact 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 737). 

Consider speaking to a Counsellor if needed.


Obtain advice from a lawyer prior to separation if possible. 

Make sure you obtain legal advice before you come to any agreement about your property settlement.

If you do not already have your own bank account in your sole name, open an account and direct your income into that account.

If you have joint accounts or finds in a redraw or offset account, consider changing to require both parties to sign. Speak with your bank and obtain advice from your lawyer.

Obtain copies of bank statements for all accounts including savings, investment, mortgage, credit cards and personal loans, superannuation statements, payslips trust deeds, Tax Returns and Notices of Assessment.

Obtain original of any loan agreements with family members or friends.

Change your PINS and passwords on all accounts.

Ensure you have your own birth certificate, any marriage certificate, passports, citizenship or residency documents.

Speak to a lawyer for advice before vacating any property.

Compile a list of all assets and liabilities that you and your partner had in your sole names or joint names at the commencement of cohabitation and at the current date.

Put together a budget for your own future income and expenses. Obtain financial and taxation advice from an expert.

Consider getting your own Accountant if necessary.

Keep a diary of events post -separation.

Shared Technology

Setup a new email account and if necessary a PO Box so you can receive mail privately if needed.

Change all passwords for all social media accounts and email accounts.

Change Apple ID and ensure Family Sharing and devices are not linked.

If you think your partner is tracking or monitoring you, read our post here about how to protect yourself.


Contact your superannuation fund and update your Binding Death Benefit Nomination if needed.

Wills and Estate Planning

If you do not already have a will, make sure you get one as soon as possible. Contact Us today to make an appointment for a Will.

Do you have Power of Attorney or Enduring Guardian which may need revoking or updating?

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