A checklist to consider when going through a divorce or break up

Divorce or financial separation can be one of the most stressful and financially challenging periods of a couple’s life, and although at the outset things may seem calm and agreeable, as the reality of the split starts to solidify and the finer arrangements are discussed, emotions can often blur the ability for rational discussions in an effort to find an equitable financial outcome.

This is where a trusted financial adviser can be a valuable asset who will step in and assist in collating and assessing the financial assets and debts, whilst also considering the multiple other factors that are part of the complex division of two people’s lives.

A Financial Adviser can help navigate the following areas to transition a client through the oftentimes rocky waters into the post-settlement stage ensuring they have a good foundation to be in a position to rebuild and meet their long-term goals.

The below are ways in which a licensed and qualified adviser can assist:

Asset & Debt Division

  • Financial advisers help identify and evaluate all marital assets and liabilities including real estate, investments, superannuation accounts, and debts. Additionally, we also assist in ensuring a fair and equitable division of assets and debts, as we have good knowledge of how these are usually assessed in a variety of different situations. We can work with your Family lawyer to ensure a fair outcome.

Cashflow & Budgeting

  • Advisers help create a realistic pre and post-divorce budget, taking into account changes in income, living expenses, eligible family tax benefits, child support and financial obligations to help clients maintain financial stability.
  • It is often important to note that banks may lock joint accounts during a dispute or if there is unapproved activity on an account.

Superannuation Splitting

  • Financial advisers review the division of superannuation accounts, ensuring compliance with the superannuation laws and help reassess retirement plans and goals to ensure continued financial security in retirement.

Tax Position

4 Things to consider:

  • The tax implications of  asset division such as the timing of the sale of assets (does the separation need to be positioned across two financial years).
  • Working with your accountant to wind up any businesses or entities, assess any business or UPE loans and clear all business related debts.
  • Ensure the transfer of titles of properties is implemented and debt is managed or discharged.
  • Changes to spousal status when lodging Income Tax Returns.

Insurance Needs

  • Your adviser will review existing insurance policies, including: life, TPD, critical illness, income protection and business expense cover to ensure adequate coverage post-divorce/separation as well as update any beneficiaries (We often find clients have their ex-spouse listed as the beneficiary on super and insurance policies years after divorce).

The Rebuilding Process

  • Advisers help clients reassess and redefine their financial goals and objectives in light of their new circumstances and assist in rebuilding the individual’s position.
  • Financial advisers often collaborate with other professionals, such as family lawyers, mediators, accountants and therapists, to provide a comprehensive support network.
  • They offer emotional support and reassurance, helping clients navigate the financial complexities of divorce to rebuild with confidence.

The Money & Life website is operated by the Financial Advice Association (FAAA). The views expressed in this article are those of the author and not those of the FAAA.  The FAAA does not endorse or otherwise assume responsibility for any financial product advice which may be contained in the article.  Nor does it endorse or assume responsibility for the information accessible via any links provided in the article. Please consider seeking advice from a qualified professional to ascertain how the information in this article and the links provided may relate to you.


Morgan has spent over a decade in financial services, years as a mentor and holds many industry leading qualifications, including a Masters degree. Morgan is the director of Lume Wealth which specialises in leading people through major change events such as divorce, as she is passionate about helping clients build, rebuild and transition with confidence.
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