We know going through a separation can be mentally straining and the toll it takes on both yourself and your family. In these situations it can be difficult to act sensibly and rationally. To assist you in your separation, and hopefully make things slightly easier, we have put together a ‘separation checklist’:


General Matters

  • Identify your separation date and confirm it in writing.
  • Update Will and Estate Planning documents including beneficiaries of Superannuation and Life Insurance policies.
  • Update Medicare, PHI and all Insurance policy details.
  • Update details for your next of kin and with any relevant organisations, your work and payroll.
  • Keep a diary of post separation parenting and financial events / arrangements.
  • Prepare a list of your assets, liabilities and financial resources and enquire about your refinance capacity if you are seeking to retain property encumbered by a joint liability.
  • Obtain referrals for Counselling for you and your children if necessary.
  • Obtain referrals for Accountants and Financial Planners.
  • Make an appointment to see your Family Lawyer.
  • Security and Safety Back up computers and devices. Update passwords and security for computers, phones, bank accounts, devices, and social media (and don’t say anything online that you would not be prepared to say in a court room). Set up email alerts for unauthorised access to your accounts.
  • If you are concerned for your safety speak with the Police regarding a Family Violence Order in your jurisdiction and developing a safety plan with your contacts.
  • Put any sentimental and valuable items in a safe place.



  • Update security for any accounts that have a redraw facility or available credit. Lower daily transaction limits.
  • Check your credit history and score for any unauthorised transactions.
  • Update payment authorities for direct debits and apps such as Parking, Tolls, Ride-sharing apps and Food Delivery apps.
  • Document any agreements about the payment of joint liabilities in writing.
  • Set up a new bank account for wages.
  • Consider arrangements for School Fees / expenses, Child Support and the payment of Family Benefits.


Living and other Arrangements          

  • Try to agree on temporary living and parenting / pet arrangements.
  • If living in rental accommodation, advise your Agent.
  • If owner occupied, agree on the responsibility for mortgage repayments and rates. Consider any bank application for hardship or interest only repayments. If selling, select an Agent, get appraisals and valuations. Obtain advice as to whether you need to sever a joint tenancy.


Documents to Collate 

  • 3 current payslips, 5 years tax returns for personal and business.
  • 12 months bank, mortgage and loan / credit facility statements.
  • Registration documents for any vehicles, trailers or boats, receipts / valuation certificates for significant assets.
  • Documents regarding compensation or legal matters, inheritances, unsecured loans or gifts
  • Certificates of Title and sale documents, current Rates documents.
  • Trust Deeds, Share Certificates and documents, Insurance Certificates, Superannuation Statements.
  • Marriage Certificate, Birth Certificate, Passports.
  • Business Financial Records.


Contact the Team at Chamberlains Law Firm on familylaw@chamberlains.com.au for guidance with your Family Law matter.


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