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Ending a relationship

How to sort out your finances

Getting things sorted

Going through a divorce or separation isn’t easy. Although it’s tempting to ignore financial aspects while dealing with your emotions, the sooner you sort out your options, the clearer your decision making will be.

To understand your position better, organise your finances by:

  • listing your assets (eg. house, car or boat)
  • listing your liabilities (eg. home loan, credit cards or personal loans)
  • looking at how much you both earn (on payslips or tax returns)
  • listing out any investments and savings (eg. look at bank or superannuation statements).

Dividing your assets

Dividing assets can be one of the most difficult issues to resolve when a relationship ends. Whether you are married or in a de-facto or same sex relationship - everyone is legally entitled to a fair share of all assets when a relationship ends.

To avoid lengthy disputes some people choose to forgo a number of entitlements, but this can have a significant financial impact further down the track. It’s important to know what assets you have as a couple, the value of them, and what things are most important to you.

Working out what you’re entitled to can be complicated, so it’s a good idea to seek professional advice from a lawyer to help you work through your entitlements, and put you in a better position to plan for the future.

Moving on

If you’ve been budgeting, you’ll know how important it is to revise a budget when circumstances change. Going from two incomes to one can be a strain on the finances, so if you’ve never budgeted, you’ll need to start.

Start by listing out your income and expenses, this will help you weigh up what you can and can’t afford. Don’t forget that child support payments (if relevant) will likely be either a source of income or an expense to you.

To get information about budgeting services in your area go to the Ministry of Social Development website

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The content provided is intended to be used as information only and does not constitute financial advice. Before acting on any of the results provided, we recommend that you seek advice which takes your individual circumstances into account.