Need help with family financial planning? You’re in the right place.
If you have children, your family expenses and household income, your assets and liabilities may change after separation. Our purpose is to help you get all the information you need and connect you with the right trusted financial advisor that will guide you through financial planning – no matter the stage of your separation journey.
Your guide to financial planning as a single parent
Going through a divorce or separation can be hard, especially when children are involved. But it’s also a gateway to a new life. And part of this new life is setting up a new financial plan for yourself and your children.
Financial planning for newly single parents can seem stressful, that’s why couples that have separated can benefit from guidance and information about managing money. And whether you haven’t started the property settlement process yet, or that’s already finalised, we’re here to help.
What to do about your finances post-separation
One of the first things you should do is to:
- separate any joint accounts
- check for any payments you are eligible for from Centrelink or ATO
- update your contact details
- contact your lender if you have a joint mortgage
- update your contact and billing details for any other accounts such as utilities, household services, streaming services, internet services, or toll accounts
- update your contact details with insurance providers
- update the ownership and contact details in any superannuation funds, bank accounts, credit cards, or registrations
- get advice about how to manage your finances after separation.
Review your documents
Before creating a new budget, you should also review – and, where necessary, amend – these documents:
- Will – renew your will to include who you want to benefit from your Estate
- Superannuation – you may want to nominate a new beneficiary for your superannuation entitlements and any death insurance payout
- Power of attorney (for personal/medical/financial– these documents may need to be updated if your partner is nominated as your Attorney
- Insurance – review your life insurance and check the details of your nominated beneficiaries
Hold off on making any new major financial decisions until your financial settlement has been finalised. That way you will have a better understanding of where you stand financially and can make the best decisions for you and your children moving forward.
Creating a new budget
Planning for your future and that of your children after separation starts with creating a budget that suits your new circumstances.
This may either mean a single-income household or sharing the costs of child support and maintenance with your ex, or it may mean your ex pays you child support.
Drawing up a budget with the help of a financial expert is a great way to ensure your financial stability and it’s an opportunity to review your spending habits and to address any credit issues that may have arisen if your ex defaulted on any joint loans or if you were unable to meet loan repayments because your ex would not assist.
Things to note. Remember, when you are creating your new budget:
- Look at your expenses, including any new expenses and lifestyle choices
- Figure out what you don’t want to change in your life: the neighbourhood you live in, your child’s school
- Don’t expect to rely solely on spousal maintenance. This is often a periodic payment (if you receive it at all)
- Don’t rely only on the child support payments if you are the receiving parent. Child support assessments change and payments are not always made on time. The other parent can also object to assessments.
- Think about your financial needs and goals to get your money on track
- Seek legal advice for property settlement and child support payment options (eg. Binding child support agreement)
We can help. Please get in touch and book a session with one of our experienced financial counsellors or licensed financial advisers. We’ll help you make sure that your children are financially protected.
What should a financial plan start with?
A new financial plan should start with a review of your current situation, followed by short and long-term goals of paying off debt, improving your credit rating and/or saving money.
What financial advice would you give to your younger self?
Some financial advice that anyone should try to follow, no matter their life journey and stage in life is:
- Keep debt to a minimum
- Try not to use credit cards
- Don’t overindulge
- Save as soon as possible
- Focus on paying off debt
- Have an emergency savings account
Should I rely on child support payments as part of my new financial plan?
No, you should always create a budget irrespective of this. Child support assessment is not always the best result and once an assessment is made by the Agency, it may restrict your options in the future.