If you are the one that is leaving the family home, it is important that you put a few things in place and be as prepared as possible. You won’t know how things are going to unfold throughout your separation, so it is safest to assume that once you leave, you will not be able to re-enter the home after that point. This check list will assist you to be prepared, if you are considering leaving, in case that happens to you.
Ensure that you:
- Have access to money, whether it be cash, your own funds, funds from a joint account (ensuring you receive legal advice before removing any funds), borrowed funds or a credit card. You need to be prepar ed financially for the separation period so that you can support you and your children.
- Change the passwords for your smart phone, work and home email accounts and social media accounts.
- Change the passwords and pin codes to your personal bank accounts and credit cards.
- Take possession of any personal items and any items that have sentimental value or meaning to you such as jewelry, family heirlooms, photo albums or collector items.
- Take possession of all your personal documents such as your passport, marriage certificate, birth certificate and that of your children. If possible,leave copies of any joint documents in the home, such as the marriage certificate.
- Be respectful of the items you are leaving behind. It can be very hard and emotionally traumatic leaving the home, but it is critical you remain cool and calm.
- Be sensible with your social media. It can be tempting to post about your grief, or perhaps to post pictures showing what a fabulous time you are having now you have separated, online. It can cause problems. Before you post anything online, remember that you cannot be sure what audience you are posting to. This could include your ex, their lawyer and the court, if your matter goes down that path.
- Take your beloved pet with you or ensure that your pet has a temporary home until you are settled into a pet friendly house.
- Consult with an experienced family lawyer to seek advice about your personal circumstances and what other steps you need to take to protect your interests.