Family Law Library

I have just separated from my partner with whom I have been living – What steps should I take?

If your former partner chooses to dispute the date you separated, you may be required to prove when the separation happened. You may be in a position where you live with your former partner temporarily while you make other arrangements. In this event, you will want proof of the date on which separation occurred. One way to prove you have separated from your partner is to have it confirmed in dated written format, ideally signed by both you and your former partner. If a written and dated document will be difficult to acquire, then a text message to your former partner can often suffice.

Proof of Separation

If a precise date of separation isn’t known because it was a gradual process that happened over some time, it may be required for the Family Court to determine when the separation occurred. In this circumstance, the Family Court will look at factors such as:

  • When did you and your former partner start sleeping in separate rooms?
  • Did either you or your former partner inform family and friends that you had separated?
  • When were you and your former partner’s financial affairs formally separated?
  • When were you and your former partner last intimate with each other?
  • When did you and your former partner stop carrying out domestic duties such as washing and cooking for each other?
  • When did you or your former partner lodge formal documents, such as ATO or Centrelink documents, on the basis that you were separated?

What are some of the first steps you can take following separation?

  • Setting up a bank account in your name may be a good first step to gaining financial independence. The date on which the new back account was created may also provide supporting evidence of when separation occurred.
  • Formalising your separation may include agreeing with your former partner to close any joint bank accounts you have together. Arrange for any scheduled transfers to now be facilitated via a personal bank account that only you can access.
  • Carry out a financial audit to identify and value all the assets, liabilities and superannuation – in your name, your former partner’s name or an entity controlled by you and / or your former partner.
  • Obtain a copy of your current superannuation member statement.
  • Consider if it is necessary to protect yourself against the risk of your former partner drawing down from your bank accounts or incurring credit card debt without your prior consent and instruct your bank as to any protective action you wish to have taken.

Take the next step, contact Mathews Family Law

The next step is to book a free 15-minute telephone consultation with an accredited family law specialist at Mathews Family Law and receive specific advice about your situation.

Book a free consultation online today.