Regardless of whether your separation was anticipated or caught you off guard, it is crucial to prioritize these 5 key actions as soon as possible.
Safeguard your Privacy
At the start of a separation, it is crucial to take measures to secure your privacy. This may involve changing passwords for your computer, mobile phone, internet and phone banking, as well as reviewing your phone or internet plans. Additionally, check out our guide on Maintaining Your Independence for further steps.
Educate Yourself on Your Finances
Having access to funds and a thorough understanding of your financial situation is critical during separation. Consider reviewing the following with your bank:
Request for dual signatory on joint mortgage redraws
Open or maintain a bank account solely in your name
Apply for your credit card if necessary Request the last seven years’ worth of bank statements
Familiarize yourself with all the accounts you have, including joint accounts, and explore ways to protect your funds and liabilities. Obtain a Proof of Balance from a bank at your local branch to get a record of all your accounts and their current balances.
Consider opening a bank account, a simple and quick-to-open everyday bank account.
Download Westpac’s mobile banking app on your phone.
You can boost your financial confidence and learn about money management topics such as budgeting, superannuation, borrowing, investing, and more.
Reach Out to Centrelink
Informing Centrelink about your change in marital or relationship status may make you eligible for government assistance. It’s important to reach out to them as soon as possible, as this support can be invaluable during a period of uncertainty.
Collect Crucial Documentation
Collecting and organizing essential documentation can be highly beneficial. Use the separation checklist as a guide for the documents you should gather or action. If you are uncertain about any items, seek advice from a legal professional. It’s also wise to consider reviewing the checklist regularly as new items may arise throughout the separation process.
Building Your Support System
Going through a separation can be emotionally taxing, and having a supportive network of friends, family, and colleagues can help alleviate some of the burden and keep things in perspective. Don’t hesitate to reach out to those close to you for support during this time.