Whether the relationship/ marriage has broken down, or you are still in the process of considering ending the relationship/ marriage, here are some practical considerations before walking out: –
- Take immediate steps to secure your data
Many couples share passwords and logins to bank accounts and other personal information during the relationship in order to more easily manage the family’s affairs. To ensure your interests are protected, ensure that all your personal accounts and passwords are changed. It may also be worthwhile to establish a new email account, particularly if you intend to retain a lawyer to assist you for your property settlement and parenting affairs subsequent to separating. Kindly start saving all important text messages, emails and photographs. It is imperative that you start recording and taking photographs of events, especially if you have been injured in any manner during a domestic violence incident.
- Ensure you have access to some funds
This may vary depending on your individual circumstances, but it highly recommendable that you have a secure sum of money (whether it be funds from your own or joint sources) which can be used for expenses such as obtaining initial legal advice. You may also need to consider monies in relation to setting up new accommodation if you intend on moving out of the premises. This would include a bond, a few months’ worth of rent, utility costs and an amount saved for food and other necessities.
- Secure your children’s passports, birth certificates and other important documentation
This is particularly important if your former partner has connections overseas, and there is a chance that the children may be taken overseas without your knowledge. Whilst a Recovery Order may be obtainable in these circumstances, prevention is always key and will give you a peace of mind. You may also want to consider placing your child on the Airport Watchlist if your intention is to commence legal proceedings soon thereafter. We would strongly recommend that you keep the original birth certificate, passport and other important documentation at a safe place that is only accessible to you and your close contacts.
- Secure your own documents.
It is paramount that you collate and secure your important documentation. This may include bank statements, tax documents, any registration documents and superannuation documents. You may also need to review your Will and Power of Attorney, and we would highly recommend you obtain legal advice if this is necessary.
- Inform relevant people of your separation
For your safety, particularly in domestic violence situations, it is essential to notify you close family or friends that you intend on leaving your partner.
You may also consider notifying your child’s school/ childcare to ensure there are immediate steps taken to ensure there is a joint authority of both parents to remove the child from the premises.
If you have joint bank accounts with your ex-partner, it may also be worthwhile to notify the banks of your intention to separate. This is particularly important to ensure the banks do not act on your ex-partner’s instructions without your consent.
- Consider the impacts this will have on your Will.
If there are considerable assets that you are worried about, kindly ensure that your Will is updated, or you proceed to prepare your Will, in order to ensure that your assets are only distributed amongst your children and does not go to your partner in the event that something happens to you between now and formal separation or property takes place
If you are intending to walk out on your partner, we would highly recommend that you obtain independent legal advice. Our team at Freedman & Gopalan Solicitors is here to assist and guide you through these tough times. Please do not hesitate to contact us on 02 8917 8700 to speak with our lawyers, or feel free to leave an enquiry via email, and we will be in touch as soon as possible.