Thinking of separating? What’s your number one priority to protect yourself
Having the support of family and friends can be crucial when going through a relationship breakdown, but getting specialist advice from a family lawyer early on can be invaluable.
During these uncertain times, we understand people still wish to move on and finalise their family law matter as soon as possible. The number one priority at separation should be your living arrangements.
A common misconception is that you must stay in the family home in order to preserve your entitlement in a property settlement. Not only is this wrong, but can sometimes be the worst thing to do if it will cause unnecessary friction, making it harder to negotiate a property deal in the long term. Or if there are children involved, impact on your ability to co-parent in the future or worse, lead to family abuse of any kind which can be used against you in court.
Try to have an open and respectful conversation with your partner about why it’s best he or she moves out and what the short-term financial arrangements may be in relation to meeting the mortgage repayments or paying the rent. If you elect to move out of the family home, your entitlement is preserved because until you have a final separation of your assets, all assets are considered joint at law.
Next, prepare a list of all known assets, liabilities and superannuation entitlements of you and your partner. Getting this information early on from your ex-partner, can prevent a lot of frustration and minimise legal costs in the future.
If there is a redraw facility on your mortgage or joint account with any significant savings, contact your bank and put a joint authority or “two to sign” on the account so your partner can’t withdraw all of the funds without your knowledge. Remember, once it’s gone, it’s difficult to persuade the court to add back spent funds.
At Rostron Carlyle Rojas Lawyers, we offer fixed fee initial consultations with our accredited specialist family lawyers to help you understand your rights, discuss outcomes and help you focus on reaching a timely resolution. Our expert family lawyers can provide you with advice on the following:
- Property Settlements;
- Parenting Arrangements, including adoption and surrogacy;
- Pre-Nuptial or Binding Financial Agreements;
- Child Support;
- Mediation and consent orders
If you require family law advice, please contact us on (07) 3009 8444 or [email protected] to arrange an initial consultation.