Until death do us apart isn’t always the case for couples tying the knot.
Lovers who end up in Splitsville find their marriage typically lasts 12 years before it ends in tears.
And it often ends up getting messy when divvying up assets and custody of children.
The median age for males to call it quits on their marriage is 45.5 years, while for females it’s 42.9 years, latest Australian Bureau of Statistics data shows.
Mother-of-two Josie Jones*, 44, divorced in 2017 and said she had worked hard to try and rebuild her life.
Left devastated after a shock ending to her 13-year marriage, she was frozen out of all funds and assets she shared with her ex-husband and said she was left penniless.
“For all of my management skills and budgeting skills that I have, it’s still important to have that financial independence,” Ms Jones said.
“This includes money set aside as an emergency fund such as three months savings that you can use.”
She said all women should tuck some money way so they could “buy food, pay the mortgage and put petrol in the car” if an unexpected need suddenly arose.
Sunsuper’s manager of advice operations, Evan Poole, said for couples parting ways the first thing to do was “get an understanding of what your situation is”.
“Early on in separation it’s about coping and making sure you have access to funds to put a roof over your head and access to cash,” he said.
“Think about things like direct debits, who pays the bills and gets access to funds to do all those sorts of things.
“The last thing you want is for one of those debts to slip between the cracks and someone to end up with a bad credit rating as a result.”
Mr Poole said once these elements were sorted couples should think in more detail about their assets including property, shares and superannuation and what legal action needed to be taken.
Divorceplanning.com.au financial planner Scott Haywood said of the couples he has seen separate in the past 18 months, 62 per cent continued to live under the same roof.
“This is because of a falling property market, they are living in the same house but in different bedrooms,” he said.
“They can’t afford to sell because the market is going down and they won’t be able to get a loan elsewhere.”
*Not the woman’s real name.
Originally published as Financial steps to protect yourself in a divorce