Dealing with Your Finances After Divorce or Separation

Divorce and separation from a partner can be a stressful and emotional time. With almost one in three marriages in Australia ending in divorce, it is something that many people will experience. One if the more practical considerations is how to organise your finances, particularly if you and your partner have shared expenses. Here are the things you need to do to get a grip on your money.


Close any joint accounts you have with your former partner. Your bank will be able to set up a new account for you. Make sure your pay and other income streams get redirected to this new account.


You will have to adjust to living on one income, so make a through inventory of your incomes and outgoings. This will help you budget and so avoid getting into debt. Some of the things you need to consider as expenses are:

  • Utility bills
  • Insurance (home, contents, car)
  • Credit card repayments
  • Debt repayments
  • Tax bills

List your income streams. These may include:

  • Pay
  • Pension payments
  • Revenue from investments
  • Welfare benefits

Make a list of your typical expenditure in a month on things like groceries, clothes and going out and adjust your spending as required so you can afford everything you need.


If your former partner is listed as the beneficiary of your will or any insurance policies, you may want to update these documents and nominate another party as the recipient of any payout.


Married couples typically have a joint superannuation. This will need to be split. In law, it is regarded as jointly owned property so will be divided between the two individuals. This is done either by a joint agreement or via a court order.


Don’t be afraid to ask for advice. Friends and family may be able to help you budget and make your money go further, while Centrelink and Legal Aid associations can provide guidance and advice on issues ranging from the division of assets with a former partner to managing debts.

If you are going through a divorce or separation take the time to get a handle on your finances. It will give you a real sense of control over proceedings and my help you deal with the emotional fallout of the split. By taking the steps outlined above, you will be ensuring you are making a positive step, financially, into the future.