divorce

Manage your finances after a divorce

It's important to fairly split up your joint assets and any shared debt after a divorce.

If you're considering a divorce, it's a good idea to be on the font foot with your finances to ensure you're both happy with the outcome. The sooner you get onto fairly splitting up your assets and debts, the better. Here's some tips to help you manage your finances during and after a divorce. If you're ready to open up individual bank accounts, you can also compare options in this guide.

List your shared assets and shared debts

The first thing to do is create a list of all the assets you share, as well as all of your combined debts. Try to include everything on this list, including any property you own, cars, savings and joint investments like shares or term deposits. Also decide if you want to include personal items in this list, for example any personal jewelry you each own, personal art pieces or antiques.

Once you've listed all your shared assets, you should also list your shared debts. For example any credit cards, if you have a mortgage together and any personal loans. If you have any individual debts, for example student university fees, you will need to decide if these will be included in your list of shared debts or if these will remain separate.

Decide how to fairly split up your assets and debts

If you've both decided a divorce is the right decision for you, you can request a divorce by downloading a Divorce Kit from the Family Law Court or the Federal Magistrates Court. If things are a little more complicated and you are struggling to come to an agreement on a few things (for example how to best split up finances), you can apply for mediation for a cost on only $750 to $1000. This process involved a neutral third party person helping you both work out how to best split things up after your divorce. All you need do in this case is to contact a mediation consultant who may be a lawyer or a psychologist. They will assist you both in drawing up a peaceful and reasonable settlement.

The Family Law Court is the final and most expensive option where divorces can cost upwards of $15,000. When taking this path you will be met with legal costs as well as having to appear in court. The Family Law Court is often the only option if you and your spouse can't agree how your combined debts and assets should be divided. When you go to the Family Law Court for assistance it will be the court that will make any decision on your behalf and that decision will be binding.

It's time to open individual bank accounts

Once you've decided to go your separate ways it's important to start splitting up your finances. If you have joint bank account opened in both your names, consider splitting up the money in that account and closing the account.

You might consider opening your own bank account in your name and getting any income, for example your salary and any benefit payments, diverted into your new account. You can use this bank account for your day to day spending. If you've got shared savings, after you've decided how to fairly split this balance it's a good idea to open your own savings account to deposit the money into. If it's a large balance that you don't need to access, you could also consider putting some or all of it into a term deposit in your name.

Compare bank accounts below

Rates accurate as at: February 21st, 2019 Learn about our information service
$
$
months
Name Product Maximum Variable Rate p.a. Standard Variable Rate p.a. Bonus Interest p.a. Fees Min Bal / Min Deposit Interest Earned Product Description
RaboDirect High Interest Savings Account
3.05%
1.80%
1.25%
$0
$0 / $0
Maximum variable rate of 3.05% p.a. for 4 months, reverting to a rate of 1.80% p.a. No deposit or withdrawal conditions. Available on balances below $250,000
HSBC Serious Saver
3.10%
1.40%
1.70%
$0
$0 / $0
Receive a maximum variable rate of 3.10% p.a. for 4 months, reverting to an ongoing rate of 1.40% p.a. for each month you don't make any withdrawals from the account. Available on balances below $1,000,000.
UBank USaver
2.87%
1.81%
1.06%
$0
$0 / $0
Earn up to 2.87% p.a. by linking your USaver account to a UBank Ultra transaction account and transferring at least $200 per month into either account. This offer is available on balances up to $200,000.
Bankwest Hero Saver
2.60%
0.01%
2.59%
$0
$0 / $0
Ongoing, variable 2.60% p.a. rate when you deposit at least $200 each month and make no withdrawals. Available on balances up to $250,000.
AMP Saver Account
2.55%
2.10%
0.45%
$0
$0 / $0
Introductory rate of 2.55% p.a. for 4 months, reverting to a rate of 2.10% p.a. Available on balances below $5,000,000.
Citibank Online Saver
3.05%
1.70%
1.35%
$0
$0 / $0
Introductory rate of 3.05% p.a. for 4 months, reverting to a rate of 1.70% p.a. Available on balances below $500,000.
HSBC Flexi Saver Account
2.50%
1.25%
1.25%
$0
$0 / $0
Ongoing, variable 2.50% p.a. when you grow your balance by $300+ per month. Earn bonus interest even if you make withdrawals during the month. Available on balances up to $5,000,000.
AMP Bett3r Account
2.25%
1.50%
0.75%
$5
$0 / $0
With AMP's bundled Bett3r account, get three linked Pay, Spend and Save accounts. Earn a competitive, ongoing rate of up to 2.25% on your Save account balance when you deposit $2,000 into the Pay account each month from a source that is not another AMP Bank account.

Please note: The 2.25% maximum variable rate is earned only on your Save account balance. To calculate interest earned, enter your initial and monthly deposit amounts for the Save account only, not including any money that’ll be in your Spend or Pay account.

Compare up to 4 providers

$
Name Product Debit Card Access ATM Withdrawal Fee Fee Free Deposit p.m. Monthly Account Fee Product Description
HSBC Everyday Global Account
Visa
$0
$0
No foreign ATM or transaction fees.
$0 monthly account fee.
Enjoy no minimum ongoing balance or transaction requirements and the flexibility to hold up to 10 currencies. Apple Pay and Google Pay available.
UBank USaver Ultra Transaction Account
Visa
$0
$0
Earn up to 2.87% p.a. interest on your linked savings account. No foreign ATM or transaction fees.
$0 monthly account fee.
You must open the UBank USaver savings account in order to get this account. Enjoy access to ATMs in Australia and overseas for free and a 0% foreign transaction fee for online purchases. Manage your spending with a built-in sweep facility that automatically moves money between your linked accounts based on the limits you set.
NAB Classic Banking
Visa
$0
$0
Enjoy convenient, unlimited access to your money.
$0 monthly account fee.
Tap and pay with your NAB Visa Debit card, NAB Pay for Android or NAB PayTag for iPhone. Temporarily block your card at the touch of a button if you lose it.
ING Orange Everyday Account
Visa
$0
$0
No fees for any ATM in Australia or overseas.
$0 monthly account fees.
Enjoy $0 ATM withdrawal fees when you deposit $1000 and make 5+ card purchases per month. Get a competitive ongoing variable rate when linked with the ING Savings Maximiser.
Citi Global Currency Account
Mastercard
$0
$0
Hold up to 10 currencies.
$0 monthly account fee.
Enjoy one linked debit card to hold up to 10 currencies and receive foreign currencies for free. Earn up to 2.25% p.a. interest on your AUD balance.
CUA Everyday Account
Visa
$0
$0
Enjoy flexible payment options and access to a wide network of ATMs.
$0 monthly account fee.
Access to Google, Samsung and Apple Pay. Enjoy fee-free cash withdrawals from 10,000+ ATMs across Australia. Deposit $1,000+ into this each month and receive bonus interest on a linked CUA eSaver Reward Account.
NAB Classic Banking with Platinum Visa Debit Card
Visa
$0
$0
$10 cashback on contactless purchases, $0 foreign transaction fee and complimentary travel insurance.
$10 monthly account fee.
Receive $10 cashback when you spend $1000 on contactless purchases. Complimentary travel insurance, transport accident insurance, purchase protection insurance and more when you meet eligibility criteria.
AMP Bett3r Account
Visa
$0
$2,000
Earn 1.50% interest. Manage your budget effectively with a bundle of accounts.
$5 waivable monthly account fee.
Earn 1.50% interest on your balance. Monthly account fee waived if you deposit at least $2,000 a month from a source that is not another AMP bank account. Reach your savings goals with a bundle of linked Pay, Spend and Save accounts.
MyState Bank Glide Account
Visa
$0
$0
Simplify your everyday banking with these sleek digital features.
$0 monthly account fee.
Choose the way you pay with access to Google, Samsung and Apple Pay plus Fitbit Pay and Garmin Pay. Send and receive money in less than 60 seconds with PayID.

Compare up to 4 providers

$
Name Product 3 Mths p.a. 4 Mths p.a. 6 Mths p.a. 12 Mths p.a. 24 Mths p.a. 36 Mths p.a. Min Deposit Interest Earned
ME Term Deposit
2.60%
2.60%
2.75%
2.75%
2.85%
3.00%
$1,000
UBank Term Deposit Account
2.70%
2.70%
2.75%
2.75%
-
-
$1,000
AMP Term Deposit $100,000+
2.65%
2.65%
2.80%
2.75%
2.75%
2.75%
$100,000
AMP Term Deposit $25,000+
2.65%
2.65%
2.80%
2.75%
2.75%
2.75%
$25,000
AMP Term Deposit $5000+
2.45%
2.45%
2.60%
2.55%
2.55%
2.55%
$5,000
RACQ Bank Term Deposit
2.35%
2.35%
2.60%
2.70%
2.80%
3.00%
$1,000
MyState Bank Online Term Deposit
2.60%
2.60%
2.76%
2.75%
2.80%
-
$5,000
Firstmac Term Deposit
2.55%
-
2.75%
2.65%
2.75%
-
$5,000

Compare up to 4 providers

Rates are displayed for the terms and minimum deposit sizes listed in the table above. The rate you receive could vary depending on your deposit size and interest payment frequency.

Update your superannuation

Make sure your superannuation is updated in your own name (if you're changing your name after the divorce) and that the beneficiaries are up to date. The beneficiaries are the people who will receive your superannuation in the case of your death, so you might want to change this after your divorce. The same goes with your insurance options and any insurance payouts you or your family might receive. This is easy to do by contacting your super fund, or updating your preferences online.

Shirley Liu

Shirley Liu is a program manager at finder, formerly the publisher for Banking and Investments. She is passionate about helping people make an informed decision, save money and find the best deal for their needs.

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