Women;s Guide To Going It Alone

Price: $29.95

AUTHOR:  Samantha Brown & Libby Koch

TITLE:  Women;s Guide To Going It Alone

PUBLISHER:  Wilkinson Publishing Pty, Ltd.

YEAR:  2008

ISBN:  9781921332302


In an edited extract from their new book, Libby Koch and daughter Samantha Brown give tips for women who have lost a partner, either through death or divorce.

In past generations marriage was "Till death do us part". These days it's often "Till we serve each other divorce papers". Gee, how times have changed.

Almost half of all marriages end in divorce. In 2006, 51,375 Australian couples divorced. The same year there were 114,222 marriages. It's not just newlyweds changing their mind. About 45 per cent of couples getting divorced have been married for more than 10 years.

Libby and I have beaten the odds and been married 29 years, touch wood. But we've been through a period where many of our friends haven't been so fortunate. It seems kids leaving school is a critical time of analysis for many couples.

We've had female friends come to us at separation in a panic. Often they don't know where their money is and how they can access it.

Many are not the primary breadwinner and have had little involvement in the family finances. They are alone and vulnerable. Here's what to do - and what not to do.  

Under no circumstances should you spend the first 24 hours after you have separated from your partner locked away in your room. You have to act.

If your partner left you, he may have been planning his departure for a while and may have taken legal advice already.

* Take money out of your bank account to get you through the first few weeks but try to be fair - if there is $10,000 in an account, take out only $5000.

* Change the password on your bank accounts. The last thing you want him to do is spend all your savings.

* Apply to the bank to change your accounts to two signatories so you and your partner have to sign.

* Organise with the bank to receive all correspondence relating to your accounts.

* Collect as many papers as possible and make copies of the lot - deeds to the family home, investment properties, share certificates and super fund details.

* Secure all of your paperwork, preferably away from your family home.

* See an accredited solicitor (and psychologist).

* Keep the lines of communication open. This will increase the chance of an amicable separation. Speaking through solicitors drastically increases the chance of miscommunication, which can lead to litigation. It's also expensive!