Guide for newly separated parents

Use this guide if you’re newly separated. It has a list of tasks you may want to do or consider when going through separation.

It might seem overwhelming but you won’t need to do all these things right now. You might not need to do some of them at all. Treat the following as a guide only. Not all of these will be relevant to you and it’s not a complete list.

You may want to print this page and keep it handy as you work through it.

Children

You may need to:

  • decide on your initial care arrangements
  • think about your child support assessment options
  • speak to your child's school or child care so they are aware.

Your child's school or child care staff may need to give your child additional support.

Finances

You may want to:

  • separate any joint accounts
  • get advice about how to manage your money after separation
  • check for any payments you can get
  • update your contact details and ownership of any bank accounts, credit cards, registrations and super funds
  • speak to your lender if you have a joint mortgage
  • update your contact and billing details for any other accounts, like toll accounts and subscription services
  • update your contact details with your insurance providers.

Look at our page your family’s money to find out more on getting on top of your finances.

Medical

During this time, it’s important to think about your child’s health and safety.

You may need to:

You should also let us know about the separation if you’re registered for the Medicare Safety Net.

Legal

You may want to:

  • seek legal advice to update your will, power of attorney, next of kin and emergency contacts
  • make copies of important documents and give them to your lawyer or trusted friend or family member.

If you get a payment, check if you have any nominee arrangements in place that you need to update.

Making a will

While it’s a difficult topic to think about, it’s important to make a valid will. A will is a document that clearly states your wishes for your estate after your death.

If you have a child support case and die without a will, this can affect your family. It can impact how the child support is collected from and disbursed to your estate.

The Public Trustee in your state or territory can give you more information. Find out more about wills on Australia.gov.au

Living arrangements

You may want to:

  • discuss your living arrangements with your ex-partner if it’s safe to do so
  • contact your real estate agent and update your lease, if you rent
  • update your contact and billing details for utilities, such as with energy and mobile providers
  • organise for the post office to redirect your mail if you move.

If you ever feel it’s not safe to do any of these things, we can help. Read about how we can help with family and domestic violence concerns.

Page last updated: 16 March 2022