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The end of a relationship can be a big change for your life and for your finances. These steps may set you on your way to rebuilding your financial wellbeing after divorce.
It may feel overwhelming, but starting to rebuild financially after divorce begins with sorting out immediate issues.
Take care of immediate logistics, including finding out how your finances were organised when you were a couple, and how to manage your finances moving forward.
ASIC’s Moneysmart website1 says your first steps should include protecting your finances.
Actions to consider may include:
You may like to access Moneysmart’s Divorce and Separation Financial Checklist on how to separate your finances and get your money on track. It covers the major things from separating bank accounts and credit cards, to dividing your assets and managing your income and expenses.
See how to avoid falling into financial stress with QSuper’s FinFit.
If you separate suddenly and do need to leave home urgently, it is important for getting control and regrowing your finances for you to take your legal and financial papers with you. Legal Aid Queensland2 suggests taking documents including:
When you separate, there are avenues for free legal advice. Legal Aid agencies and community legal centres are available in every state and territory and can provide free legal advice.
Also consider seeking expert financial advice. QSuper members have access to financial advice about superannuation and managing your money through QInvest.3
Getting your superannuation sorted after your relationship ends is an important step in planning for your future.
Once you separate or get divorced, super is treated as a type of property and can be divided by agreement or by court order. Splitting your super does not convert your super into a cash asset.4 It is still subject to superannuation laws, which means, for example, that it is usually retained until retirement ages are reached.
Graphic Source: Brown,L, December 2016, Divorce: For richer or poorer, AMP.NATSEM Income and Wealth Report
See our 7 things to do for your super after separation.
1. Australian Securities and Investments Commission, Moneysmart, Divorce and separation, accessed 20 December 2019 at www.moneysmart.gov.au/life-events-and-you/life-events/divorce-and-separation)
2. Legal Aid Queensland, Separation and divorce, accessed 21 March 2019 at www.legalaid.qld.gov.au/Find-legal-information/Publications/Legal-information-guides/You-and-family-law-a-short-guide/Separation-and-divorce)
3. QInvest Limited (ABN 35 063 511 580, AFSL 238274) is a separate legal entity responsible for the financial services it provides. When you receive personal advice from QInvest, the QSuper Board may pay for some or all the advice fee for advice related to your QSuper benefit. Eligibility conditions and advice fees may apply. Refer to the Financial Services Guide for more information.
4. Federal Circuit Court of Australia, Family Law matters: Superannuation, accessed 20 December 2019 at www.federalcircuitcourt.gov.au/wps/wcm/connect/fccweb/family-law-matters/property-and-finance/superannuation/superannuation
How to get control of your finances as a single woman after divorce or loss of your partner.
Divorce is not just an emotional upheaval – the impact on your finances can also be substantial. QSuper explains the initial actions to take.
Find out how super is split after a separation
QInvest: How financial advice has evolved over a quarter of a century