Do I need to tell anyone that we’ve separated?
We think there is a lack of know-how when it comes to the practical information you need once you or your partner make the decision to separate on a final basis, such as, do you need to tell anyone? And if so, who do you tell?
Firstly, you’re not required to sign or lodge any documents with the Court to let them know that you’ve separated.
If you receive Centrelink entitlements (eg. Family Tax Benefit, family assistance, childcare subsidy, school kids bonus, youth allowance, AusStudy), you are obligated to tell Centrelink about the change in circumstances of your relationship. If you have kids, Centrelink may automatically issue a formal child support assessment.
If you or your partner are on a visa in Australia, you are required to tell the Department of Home Affairs (as it is now known) about the change in your relationship status.
It may be in your interests to let your accountant, financial advisor/planner and the bank know that you and your partner have separated.
You may want to consider letting your GP, counsellor, psychiatrist or psychologist know so that they can support you appropriately.
You may want or need to tell your child’s day care, babysitter or school so that your kids can be appropriately supported in that environment too.
Finally, when you feel it’s the right time, consider telling your friends and family.