Knowledge is Power
If you have begun to realise that you are in an unhealthy relationship, and you are thinking about changing things for the better, make sure you have as much information as you can to help you to make informed decisions. After all, knowledge is power, as they say!
You should not be at all surprised if your standard of living falls following separation, as the same amount of family income would need to provide for two separate households.
You may or may not be the person in your household who is responsible for keeping records of accounts, insurance, investments, tax returns etc. But once you go from being part of a couple, to a single person you need to be prepared that you will be in charge of all of your own accounts. You will need to organise your own finances, mortgage or rental agreement, possible Centrelink benefits, to name but a few. This may or may not be a daunting thought, but with some preparation, you will be able to incorporate these changes as another step forward.
When considering custody of any children you and your ex-partner will be responsible for, you need to take into consideration exactly what is involved in being the primary carer of the children and also in being the person who will be paying the child support. When assessing child support payment, the Child Support Agency may not factor in absolutely all the costs that apply to raising your children the way you have been, or indeed the way you would like to in the future. You should bear in mind what costs may occur, and prepare well. When preparing to budget for potential costs of bringing up your child/children in the future, you may want to consider:
Daycare (plus photos, uniforms)
Equipment and fees for sports
Private lessons (music, dance, tennis)
Musical instruments rental or purchase fees
End of year shows/costumes
Preparation is the key in many areas when it comes to separation. Being a highly emotional and stressful time, it would be one less pressure upon yourself if you did not have the worry of the ‘unknown’ when it comes to financial matters. Familiarise yourself and get your finances in as much order as possible so that you do not have the feeling of having to “start all over again” once you separate from your partner.
Think about what is important to you. Make yourself some goals – you don’t have to set these in stone, nor try to think too big. You can always make changes at a later date.