How Are Bank Accounts Split In A Divorce In Australia?

It’s always difficult to say goodbye, close a chapter of a book, and say you will never be doing something again. This pain is multiplied when the show getting the curtains drawn down onto the stage is for the life you and your intimate partner have made for each other. 

Memories, friends, and communities, are all shared between you and your ex partner in a split. 

Finances and property are also shared by you and your ex partner, and besides children, are the hardest things to divide during a split. 

You might think financial separation is easy, but it is a rare occasion to split completely amicably without any form of financial negotiation. This is why you need to know what happens to joint bank accounts when you separate, and why you need the help of legal professionals in a divorce.

In this article, we will discuss all the things you need to know in order to successfully split property and joint savings accounts during a divorce.  


10 Steps To Easy Separation With Your Finances 

There is no be-all and end-all solution to make splitting finances easy, but you can take these 10 steps to make things easier. These steps include: 


Step 1: Get Help From A Legal Professional

If you don’t already have a legal professional in mind, you can find one here. Once you have selected a lawyer you think understands your issues and will listen to you, you can ask them for advice. 

A divorce can be confusing, exhausting and emotionally draining. A lawyer will help you with the entire process, which will alleviate your stress as well as increase the amount of money you receive when splitting assets. 


Step 2: Review What Split Finances You Currently Have 

As petty as it might seem, some ex partners in the case of a split or divorce go to the bank as soon as the split happens and completely empty your shared bank account. It has happened before, and it will happen again. 

What you need to do is review your joint account in the bank, and keep reviewing them. Discuss with your partner any utilities and bills that need to be paid, and acquire at least 13 months of bank statements. If you think your partner is likely to take the money from your split bank account, you should: 

  • Consider closing any joining bank accounts/freeze bank accounts.
  • Cancel your shared credit and debit cards.
  • Consider a co-signing system.


Step 3: Open A Bank Account That Solely Belongs To You

Having your own bank account will give you the financial freedom and flexibility you deserve in this high-stress environment. Feel in control again. 

Speak with your bank, or a legal representative, so you can discuss your action plan as well as some financial goals. 


Step 4: Don’t Live In Your Ex Partner’s House

If you keep living with your ex partner, it can make the divorce more difficult. You have to go through extra measures to prove you are separated. A family lawyer will be able to help you with this. 

If you are lucky enough, try moving in with some family members or a friend. This will help you and your partner remain calm during a divorce because you won’t be constantly butting heads in the divorce. If you’re not butting heads, there’s less chance of maliferious behaviour that will ruin your joint finances. 

If your ex partner is seemingly getting more and more violent, you should absolutely leave immediately. Do not risk your own safety. You can apply for restraining orders here. 


Step 5: Let Your Child’s School Know

Needless to say, if you have children you have to absolutely put them first. 

Your kids spend a lot of their time at school, and the school should know your current circumstances so they can accommodate accordingly. If they know what your child’s circumstances are, they can help make sure they stay as happy as possible. 


Step 6: Update Your Accounts And Privacy Settings 

Any of your online accounts that you have created you should change your login details and kick your ex partner off them. Claim them as your own and take control in your life! Things you should update include:

  • Credit cards.
  • Store accounts.
  • Email accounts.
  • Online shopping points.
  • And more… 


Step 7: Document Everything That Happens 

If you are going through court, it is more or less a discussion of who gets what based on who says and does what. To clarify further, it is your word against your ex partners word. That’s why you need evidence to form an argument. 

A lawyer will be able to help you with collating evidence, but you should also be keeping a log. Take notes of all the conversations you have and any points of pain your ex partner puts you through. 


Step 8: Find Supporting Evidence 

Going through a divorce has a lot more documents that are involved than you might think. A lawyer can tell you what you need, but it will still take some time. Getting them ready now will help you stay on track.

The sorts of documentation that you will need to track down and collect includes: 

  • Marriage certificates. 
  • Birth certificates.
  • Passports.
  • Bank statements.
  • Superfund statements.
  • Insurance papers.
  • Tax returns.
  • Car registration.
  • Any documentation relating to your business.


Step 9: Plan Your Finances and Budget 

There will be a lot going on during this time, and you will be very financially busy. You need to make a financial plan and set a budget so you are not caught out with any unpleasant surprises. 


Step 10: Look After Yourself 

With so much going on in your life during this busy time, it can be very, very easy to look after yourself and your own mindfulness. Make sure you are: 

  • Involved in a community. 
  • Keep up regular exercise.
  • Read books and watch movies to relax.
  • Take up something new and meditative like yoga.


How To Financially Separate From Your Spouse 

Don’t let Google search stand in as your family lawyer. The information out there is incomprehensive and untrustworthy. 

So how do you find a family lawyer you can trust and rely on? With so many family law firms in Perth, it can be hard to find one who will understand and listen to your situation. 

Savannah Legal offers a free 30 minute consultation and we take the time to understand your situation, concerns and needs, before providing you with a legal plan outlining your options. Our goal is to give you affordable legal advice while lifting a burden off your shoulders. Book your free consultation today.

If you still have questions, such as; “how much does a family lawyer cost” and “how long does family court take in Australia”, we can help.

Disclaimer: The content on our website is intended to give general information about the law and does not constitute legal advice. If you have a specific legal problem, you should consult a professional legal advisor. To the extent permitted by law, Savannah Legal is not responsible for and do not accept any liability for any loss, injury or damage, financial or otherwise, suffered by any person relying or acting on information contained in or omitted from the content on our website.


Book a free 30min consultation

Fill in the form and submit to book your free 30mins consultation.
We will get back to you on the same business day or within 24 hours, Monday to Friday.

Not ready to book a consultation yet? Try one of the options below.
Call us(08) 9355 2067
Visit us8 Parliament Place, West Perth WA 6005
Visit usCorporate House, 5/22 Magnolia Drive, Brookwater QLD 4300