Separation Checklist

At Doolan Wagner Family Lawyers we provide reliable, direct, and practical family law advice. We understand that feelings of stress and overwhelm often arise during a separation and in the time leading up to a separation. We have compiled a Separation Checklist, which outlines some of the things you should consider organising prior to a separation, we hope it provides some assistance to anyone facing a separation.

 

Things you should think about organising prior to your separation:

 

  1. Collect important documents e.g. birth certificates, marriage certificates and passports and place them in safe keeping. Keep a copy of each document handy – take photos of these documents on your phone if you can.

 

  1. Collect financial documents for yourself and if possible your partner, including:

 

  • Income Tax Returns and Notices of Assessments for the last three (3) financial years;

 

  • Any employment records you have including employment contracts, recent pay slips and records of leave entitlements;

 

  • Bank statements including savings and investment accounts, loan accounts (including personal loans, mortgages) and other liabilities (such as credit cards, store finance, hire purchases, store cards, family loan agreements etc.);

 

  • Share or investment statements and particulars of all shares in any public company;

 

  • Records and statements in relation to any entity that you are “associated” with. For companies this includes Articles of Association, Balance Sheets, Profit and Loss Statements and BAS statements. For trusts this includes Trust Deeds and Financial Statements and details as to whether you are the Appointee, Trustee or any beneficiary;

 

  • Details of any Real Property owned by either of you including the street address, rate notices etc.;

 

  • Details of other property owned by you e.g. motor vehicles (a registration certificate is helpful), tools, machinery and furniture etc. together with an estimate of the value of each. Also particulars of any items disposed of by Sale, Transfer, Assignment or Gift in the period twelve (12) months prior to separation to date;

 

  • Details for any superannuation account or entitlement in which you or your partner have an interest including recent statements for each and the financial accounts in relation to any self-managed superannuation fund; and

 

  • Details of any personal injury claim, inheritance or pending inheritance or other financial resource.

 

  1. Prepare an inventory of furniture in your home and take pictures of things that are difficult to describe. Things may be removed, sold or destroyed when you move out and it helps to know exactly what was there when you moved out as it can be surprisingly hard to recall later on.

 

  1. Open a new bank account and apply for your own separate credit card. Perhaps consider this step with a different bank. Ask for a reasonable credit limit. You don’t have to use it at this stage but it is a helpful safety net if an emergency arises.

 

  1. Find out what redraw facilities are available on your bank accounts and also determine what accounts can be operated by one signatory and what accounts require two or more signatories in order to operate. Consider getting advice about what options you have so as to best preserve assets.

 

  1. Organise a modest cash flow in case of emergency. You might be relying on joint funds in the beginning but you might find that money “disappears” or is depleted more quickly than you originally expected. At other times unknown or unexpected “debts” and “bills” suddenly arise.

 

  1. Remain involved in as much as you can with things your children are doing. Take up opportunities to engage in their lives. Consider speaking to your employer about flexible working arrangements that may be available, even if only in the short term.

 

  1. Compile a list of all people that provide care for your children including doctors, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, paediatricians and the like. Get up to date information about all treatments and obtain copies of all reports.

 

  1. Touch base with your children’s classroom or preschool teacher just to “check-in” and understand better your child’s progress. Stay updated and involved in their school as best you can.

 

  1. Don’t vent on social media sites and be discrete with your posts on Facebook and the like. You don’t want compromising photos of yourself or unflattering comments circulating at this time as they can seriously backfire.

 

  1. Set up a separate confidential email account and change your passwords to any personal email, social media, internet banking and other accounts. It’s a good idea to also restrict access to these accounts from the family computer or other devices accessible by other family members.

 

  1. Try and get expert family law advice. Confidential, no obligation appointments are available at short notice from our friendly and highly experienced specialist team.

 

 

 

Doolan Wagner Family Lawyers offer specialist family law advice in St Leonards on Sydney’s North Shore.  If you have recently separated or have a Family Law enquiry, please contact us on (02) 9437 0010 or send us an email at enquiries@familylawyersdw.com.au to discuss your matter in complete confidence. We have a dedicated team of experienced family lawyers to handle your matter effectively and efficiently, providing you with reliable, direct and practical advice.

 

Disclaimer: These posts are only intended as an overview or comment on current issues that may interest you and are not legal advice. If there are any matters that you would like us to advise you on, then please contact us.

 

Family & Divorce Lawyers Greenwich

Doolan Wagner Family Lawyers are local to Greenwich and want you to be confident through your separation.

Below, we share our tips for Sydney’s North Shore & Greenwich clients to stay confident and in control during this turbulent time.

While you untangle your lives from your ex-partner the key to staying positive is to do a bit of planning now. Doolan Wagner Family Lawyers are close to Greenwich and have helped many families on Sydney’s North Shore find a smooth separation & divorce. Leave the complicated stuff to them to negotiate. You can stay in control by tackling some of these quick tips today.

Preparation at this early stage of separation will avoid delays down the track. Importantly it will create some space so you to take care of yourself. Staying positive will come easily when you are armed with good information and when you stay physically and emotionally well.

We’ve split this summary into two categories:

  • Quick tips you can action today.
  • Information that needs your consideration and legal expertise.

Doolan Wagner Family Lawyers can answer your queries over the phone. Or their office is only 5 mins from Greenwich in St Leonards. They are Sydney’s North Shore divorce specialists who will provide you with peace of mind and a smooth settlement.

Quick tips you can action today.

Stop using social media.

Social media is easily misunderstood and there is no control over how it’s perceived by others. Try to keep your separation private and avoid oversharing any details. Be aware, that posting electronically about a family law matter that identifies individuals, including children is an offence. It can damage your case and create issues for you later. Stop posting today.

Get Paperwork Organised

Various documents will need to be referenced during the formalities of a separation. To avoid any delays in the process, gather the appropriate documents into a folder. Once it’s in place, you won’t have to think about it again, and the family lawyer can refer to it as needed.
Here is a quick list to get you started. Original documents are best.
– Passports, marriage certificates, latest bank statements, superannuation records, certificates of title for the property, real estate agreements and of course, pre-nuptial agreements.

List the jointly owned assets

Money can be the most contentious aspect of a legal separation or divorce. While a family lawyer can negotiate the terms for you, some planning now will help with pragmatic conversations later. Make a list of the jointly owned assets today.
Include everything, from the family home, investments, and superannuation to the cars, jewellery, art etc. Try to estimate a value for each item and include any associated debt.
Financial settlements are different for each case, and a family lawyer will assess the household budget and consider responsibilities like school fees and mortgages. Doolan Wagner Family Lawyers can explain what’s relevant to your circumstances.

Eat well. Meditate. Exercise.

By staying physically and mentally well during this time, you will be able to cope with extra stress.
Get inspired by food and plan your meals so they are nutritious and balanced.

Meditation is as easy as sitting quietly for 10 mins before bed. Set a timer and breath. It will reset your mind.
Go for a walk after you read this. There are so many benefits to regular exercise. It will alleviate anxiety, create some thinking space, and ensure you get a good night’s sleep.

Explore someplace new to take your mind off the complex issues. Either a coastal walk on Sydney’s North Shore or a local bush walk around Greenwich. It will energise you.

Information that needs your consideration and legal expertise.

For most people being armed with good information, means feeling in control and this will help you to stay positive during this process.

The following considerations are essential aspects of separation and divorce. But they may not be straight forward for you. Take your time to make notes and write down questions. You may need to check in with a family lawyer before you make some decisions.

Think about your living arrangements

This may already be decided for you. Or it may feel like a big decision you need to make quickly. Take your time.

First, consider the separation period. Will you live together or apart?

Remember if you’re married you will need to be separated for 1 year before a divorce is finalised, and for a de-facto relationship, you have up to 2 years to settle your matter. In this separation period, you may consider living under the same roof for financial or parenting reasons. If this is your choice seek guidance before you commit to it. You will need clear evidence proving that you’re living as individuals, and not as a couple. This includes financial arrangements. It can get complicated and may not be sustainable for you. Ask Doolan Wagner what will work best for you.

If your choice is to live apart. Who will move out?

Is it you? Get advice from Doolan Wagner Family Lawyers on the impact it may have on your case.

Plan how to co-parent

Address co-parenting arrangements with your ex-partner as soon as you can. Particularly if you’re living apart. A simple plan to co-parent is ideal as it will create a good routine and a secure environment for the children during this time. Write down all the options as an initial step.

Remember it must serve the best interest of the children and it is a shared responsibility of both parents, so be prepared to negotiate. Put some time aside with your ex-partner to discuss it in detail. There are many factors to consider here, including school and sports schedules, work location, and travel between households. If the situation becomes unworkable speak with Doolan Wagner Family Lawyers. The Principal, Lisa Wagner is a Registered Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner and can answer your queries over the phone.

Seek professional guidance

Doolan Wagner Family Lawyers are local to Greenwich and are known for their integrity. They will walk you through the intricate legal process and support you with practical advice at each stage.

They specialise in negotiation, mediation, and litigation of legal separations and divorce, including financial settlements and co-parenting agreements.

Also read: Mediation & Family  Dispute Resolution Lawyers

The team is focused on facilitating a hassle-free settlement for you.

When you meet with them in St Leonards, we will,

  • Methodically review your case,
  • Present an assessment of all relevant scenarios for you,
  • Discuss the options available and
  • Provide you with sensible advice.

Doolan Wagner Family Lawyers will keep your legal separation or divorce positive and professional.

These posts are only intended as an overview or comment on current issues that may interest you and are not legal advice. If there are any matters that you would like us to advise you on, then please contact us.

Family & Divorce Lawyers Lindfield

With 30 years of experience, Doolan Wagner Family Lawyers are local to Lindfield, and can efficiently guide you through this challenging time.

It’s no secret that separation and divorce can become complicated. To ride this wave and arrive at the next chapter of your life with ease – take a moment to shift your focus on these three things.

  • Keep calm and take care of yourself. It will minimise angst and foster good decisions.
  • Be prepared and get your paperwork organised. It will avoid delays later.
  • Get help from a family law specialist in Lindfield. They will navigate this process with you.

This summary will walk you through exactly how to focus on these things.

If you have any immediate questions, Doolan Wagner Family Lawyers Lindfield can help you answer them over the phone. We have helped many clients on Sydney’s North Shore & Lindfield find peace of mind during their separation.

Keep calm and look after yourself

When you have a clear head, you will make good decisions.
Simply acknowledging that it will be a turbulent time is the first step to looking after yourself.

Keep calm with easy exercise. Daily walking to unwind and 10 min meditation is achievable. Exercise is usually the first thing to stop when you’re in a difficult situation. But there are so many benefits, so stay active. It will ease anxiety, create some thinking space, and guarantee you a good night’s sleep. By shifting your focus to being physically well, you will naturally improve your emotional health.

Keep communication calm with your ex-partner. It’s easy to fall into destructive patterns with your partner during a separation. Try to sidestep this, by keeping the conversations clear and specific. If the situation does become unworkable, it is time to find professional help.

Also read: Family Violence Lawyers Sydney

A positive mindset is a goal. There will be certain issues that cause you pain and sadness, try to identify these in advance and have a plan to handle it. Write in a diary, communicate via email.
Instead of conversations with your ex, vent to a friend about your worries, seek counselling, take a boxing class! Whatever it takes. When you work through it, you will handle it, and this is positive.

It’s wise to keep your separation private for a while. Be aware of the potential need for sympathy
and avoid posting anything on social media. Social media can be misunderstood and you can’t control other people’s comments. Anything you post electronically about a family law matter that identifies individuals, including children is an offence. It may be unfavourable to your case down the track. Disable your account today.

Be prepared and get your admin organised.

I know it sounds boring! Stay with me…it’s worth it.

It may get tricky down the track. When emotions run high, sometimes there is an attempt by one partner to de-rail or delay proceedings. If you’re prepared in advance you can avoid delays.

The first step is easy – gather key documents.

Start collecting relevant documentation into a folder. This way they can be referenced quickly, allowing formalities to proceed without any drama. Original certificates are best, but copies will be ok too. A family lawyer will request a list of documents for your circumstances. Here is a list to get you started.

  • Passports, marriage certificates, latest bank statements, superannuation records,
    certificates of title for property, real estate agreements and of course, pre-nuptial
    agreements if you have them.

You may already be asking – Can I keep the house?

Also read: Property Settlement Lawyers Sydney

Before this can be answered, the household finances need to be assessed. It’s time to take the second step, make a list of jointly owned assets.

Money can bring out the best and worst in people. It can be the most contentious aspect of a legal separation or divorce. And while a family lawyer can negotiate the terms for you, some planning now will allow for more pragmatic conversations later.

  • Major assets include the family home, investment properties, share portfolio,
    superannuation, businesses, cars, boats, holiday homes. And minor assets,
    include household items, like jewellery, art and electricals. Try to include an estimated value
    for each item, and note any debt associated with the item too.

The main aspect of splitting financials during a separation is considering the household budget. This can be complicated with responsibilities like school fees, mortgage and insurance to consider.

Ask Doolan Wagner Family Lawyers what’s relevant for your circumstances. A little planning will help you stay focused but know when to ask the experts.

Get help from a professional Lindfield divorce lawyer

To survive a separation or divorce you will most certainly need guidance from an experienced and dependable family law team.

Doolan Wagner Family Lawyers will walk you through the intricate legal process and will support you to achieve a hassle-free settlement for you.

When you meet with them, we will,

  • Methodically review your case,
  • Present an assessment of all relevant scenarios for you,
  • Discuss the options available and
  • Provide you with practical advice at every stage.

The Principal of Doolan Wagner Family Lawyers, Lisa Wagner is a Registered Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner and an Accredited Family Law Specialist with almost 30 years experience. Her team all hold additional qualifications. We are highly experienced to negotiate, mediate and / or litigate financial settlements and co-parenting agreements for you.

Doolan Wagner Family Lawyers are well known on Sydney’s North Shore, being only 10 mins from Lindfield. Our professionalism and sensitivity will keep you on track to finalising your legal separation or divorce.

These posts are only intended as an overview or comment on current issues that may interest you and are not legal advice. If there are any matters that you would like us to advise you on, then please contact us.

Family Lawyers Lindfield FAQ’s

Divorce & Family Lawyers Pymble

Doolan Wagner Family Lawyers have put together these suggestions to help you navigate this uncertain time with your children.

They have supported many families from Pymble on Sydney’s North Shore and are specialists in negotiating co-parenting plans.

Let’s be honest, all parents want their children to be safe and feel confident.

But when parents break up and are juggling their own emotions, it becomes difficult to maintain a reassuring home environment for children.

There is so much change and complexity during this time, it’s natural for children to feel uncertain and worry. It’s a huge life change.

To navigate this journey, you will need a dependable family law team local to Pymble. Doolan Wagner Family Lawyers are well known family law specialists on Sydney’s North Shore & Pymble.

They can answer your queries over the phone, or you can visit them in St Leonards, only 15 mins from Pymble. View some testimonials of happy clients here.

These simple suggestions will help you to support your children.

Communicate clearly

Of course, when a relationship breaks down the way you communicate with your ex-partner can be negative. But while you are untangling your lives from each other, the children’s lives continue as normal. To reduce the risk of arguments in front of the children, address communication early with your ex-partner and aim for your interactions to be clear and calm.

Set simple guidelines to keep conversations positive and avoid nasty comments to or about each other. Agree that some topics of conversations are problematic and will be off limits.

Remember it’s ok to say: Let’s talk about this later (without the kids). It gives you time to breath. Calm conversations between you both will help to stabilise the children and protect them from unnecessary stress.

But heated conversations can be unavoidable. Consider switching to written emails or text messages instead. This will give you some time to have a composed response. Be brief and succinct. Written correspondence can be used as evidence later, so avoid contentious banter. If you’re unsure, ask a friend or lawyer to read it before you hit send.

Be equally mindful of clear communication with the children.

Unless it’s about logistics, eliminate any chat about your ex-partner (and any eye rolling!). Animosity will confuse children and they do pick up on every behaviour. Plan important conversations in simple language and leave lots of time for questions.

Set their expectations up ahead of time, so they are clear about where they will live and who will be there for them. Don’t linger on a big issue, try to return to normal conversations as soon as you can, it will make it easier for children to adjust.

Distraction can be a good idea too.

Perhaps a new weekend activity to do together, something that will lighten the mood. Perhaps you could explore Pymble’s local bush walks together or go further afield to find a coastal walk on Sydney’s North Shore. Switch it up, if those teens are resisting any conversations with you, ask a family friend to check in on them.

Plan co-parenting

Good communication will help you to plan co-parenting arrangements. When the plan is complicated, tensions rise, and the children get confused. Keep the plan simple.

Remember if you’re married, you will need to be separated for 1 year before a divorce is finalised. If you are in a de-facto relationship you have up to 2 after your separation to settle the matter. For children this can feel like forever. A sustainable schedule is a workable one, and everyone will find routine.

There are some basic truths for a co-parenting plan to be workable. Firstly, it must serve the best interest of the children. While it may be hard to arrange, children have the right to access the people they love and who love them, including ex-partners and grandparents. Secondly, a co-parenting plan is a shared responsibility of each parent. Think carefully about the logistics, clarify it in writing and stick to the schedule.

Lastly, co-parenting may sound easier if both parents are living under the same roof but seek guidance before you commit to this. You will need specific evidence that proves you’re living as individuals, not a couple.

Seek support quickly if co-parenting becomes unworkable.

The Principal of Doolan Wagner Family Lawyers, Lisa Wagner is a registered Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner and an Accredited Family Law Specialist for the past 10 years. She has almost 30 years experience in family law. She’ll be able to negotiate, mediate or litigate a co-parenting agreement for you. Lisa can answer your queries over the phone or you can meet the team in St Leonards.

See Lisa’s LinkedIn Profile.

A simple co-parenting plan is ideal, it is easier for the children to understand, lessens the mundane discussion about logistics between you both and avoids friction.

Be kind to yourself

If you’re composed the children will be more relaxed. Acknowledge this will be a difficult time for you personally and stress levels will rise. By looking after yourself you will make good decisions as a parent and for your future.

Staying active will ease the stress, create thinking time, and guarantee a good night’s sleep. Keep it simple with a quick walk to unwind each day. And it may sound obvious but remember to eat well. Keep it nutritious and balanced. By looking after yourself you will cope with the extra stress and feel more in control.

Seek professional guidance

For parents, separation or divorce can be overwhelming, so seek support early. If they’re local lawyers to Pymble it will be easier for you too.

Doolan Wagner Family Lawyers will guide you through the intricate legal process and facilitate a hassle-free settlement for you. They are well known on Sydney’s North Shore for caring for their clients. When you meet with them, they will:

  • Methodically review your case
  • Present an assessment of all relevant scenarios for you
  • Discuss the options available, and
  • Provide you with realistic advice at every stage.

Doolan Wagner Family Lawyers are only 15 mins from Pymble. Their professionalism and sensitivity will keep you on track to finalising your legal separation or divorce.

These posts are only intended as an overview or comment on current issues that may interest you and are not legal advice. If there are any matters that you would like us to advise you on, then please contact us.

Family Lawyers Pymble FAQ’s