If you are the one that is leaving the family home, it is important that you put a few things in place and be as prepared as possible. It can be difficult to predict how things will unfold throughout your separation as emotions can be high.
It is safest to assume that once you leave, you will not be able to re-enter the home after that point, this may not be true for you, but it is best you leave thinking that this might be the case, then you will be prepared.
If you are leaving the family home, you still have the right to do a full and final property settlement, in other words, you do not lose any entitlements that you may have even if you no longer live in the family home. It can however, be difficult recover personal items, that may mean a lot to you, so it is best to take these items with you.
When you separate, it is a good idea to be prepared and to ensure that you protect yourself moving forward,
Use this as a checklist before you leave the family home:
ENSURE THAT YOU:
- Have access to money, whether it be cash, your own funds, funds from a joint account (ensuring you receive legal advice before removing any funds), borrowed funds or a credit card. You need to be prepared financially for the separation period so that you can support you and your children.
- Change the passwords for your smartphone, iCloud account, work, and home email accounts and social media accounts.
- Change the passwords and pin codes to your personal bank accounts and credit cards.
- Take possession of any personal items and any items that have sentimental value or meaning to you such as jewelry, family heirlooms, photo albums or collector items. Place these items in a safe location away from the family home.
- Take possession of all your personal documents such as your passport, marriage certificate, birth certificate and that of your children. If possible, leave copies of any joint documents in the home, such as the marriage certificate.
- Be respectful of the items you are leaving behind. It can be very hard and emotionally traumatic leaving the home, but it is critical you remain cool and calm. Do not damage any property or leave any property in a place where they can become damaged.
- Be sensible with your social media. It can be tempting to post about your grief, or perhaps to post pictures showing what a fabulous time you are having now you have separated, online. Before you post anything online, remember that you cannot be sure what audience you are posting to. This could include your ex, their family or friends and their lawyer.
- Take your beloved pet with you or ensure that your pet has a temporary home until you are settled into a pet-friendly house.
- Consult with an experienced family lawyer to seek advice about your personal circumstances and what other steps you need to take to protect your interests.
At Collective Family Law we offer a free initial consultation where we can walk you through all of the steps before or after you separate. Our experienced lawyers can help you in your unique set of circumstances.