The first steps in getting a divorce are often the most difficult ones. They are filled with pain, regret, and uncertainty.

Unfortunately, all of these feelings are magnified if children are involved.

Following a plan put together by experts is the best way to ensure that you’re making smart decisions during this very traumatic period.

Here are ten important tips to keep in mind as you go through a marriage separation.

  1. Always remain civil to each other
    There are two roads that a separation can lead to and unfortunately, a divorce is one of them. No one wants a bitter battle in family court, but all too often that route is determined by animosity during the separation. It becomes more about punishing the other person rather than an amicable split. Do everything you can to remain calm and reasonable.
  2. Tell your bank about your separation
    Inform your bank that you have separated as soon as possible. This will protect you from any potential maliciousness. There are incidences where ex-partners have taken out loans, cleaned out business accounts, and more under the pretense of being of a partner.
    Also, if you have any joint accounts with your partner, keep a close eye on them.
  3. Change Your Will
    This might be the last thing on your mind, but if something were to happen to you during the separation, your existing will would be enforced. If you want your assets to go to a different party, a lawyer can assist you this until after the divorce when all assets have been divided.
  4. Hide all your Important Documents
    As you’ve probably experienced, your home is the battlefield. When you separate, take all of your important documents and put them in a safe place. Even if you separate under one roof, protect these documents in a different location. Consider a safe deposit box at your bank for the short-term until you have a new residence.
  5. Protect your sentimental items
    This is target number one during a separation. Breaking sentimental items, even if they have nothing to do with the marriage, is a common tactic of an angry ex-partner to elicit a response. Protect them immediately by moving them out of the home and out of common access. Consider storing them at a bank safe, your parent’s home or family member’s residence.
  6. Change your Passwords
    It is important to change all your passwords as soon as your separation starts. If you don’t, then you might be surprised to find that someone else has changed them.
  7. Revoke Power of Attorney
    If you partner has the power of attorney over you, contact us for a free consultation on having that legally discharged. Do not leave your medical or financial welfare to your ex-partner should you become incapacitated.
  8. Keep a Diary
    Write everything down. Be meticulous with dates and events so that you can protect yourself in court later. If you go to Family Court, there will be accusations made against you that are untrue. The more documentation you gather now, the easier it will be disprove those allegations.
  9. Change Your Address
    If you leave the marital home, your mail will continue to be delivered there. Contact everyone that would send you mail, particularly for your bills, and divert your mail to a secure address. Also, go to the post office and pay to have your mail redirected to your new address.
  10. Ask for Legal Advice
    No one, but you are going to fully look after your interests during a separation and a divorce. It is best to consult with our team of experienced family lawyers early in the separation process. Family court and divorces are a difficult process. The sooner you get professional legal advice, the better the outcome will be.

Here at Bartels Lawyers, we are a Queensland law firm with expertise and experience in separation and divorce. Give us a call today for a free initial consultation.

Bartels Lawyers