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Empowering Financial Literacy: A Guide for Separated Dads

In the wake of separation, when emotions run high and uncertainties loom, one of the most critical aspects to address is financial stability. As a separated dad, mastering financial literacy becomes an essential skill that not only empowers you to navigate your new reality but also lays the foundation for a secure and prosperous future. Here’s a comprehensive guide to help you bolster your financial literacy and make informed decisions during this transformative phase.

1. Take Stock of Your Finances: Begin by conducting a thorough assessment of your financial situation. Create a detailed inventory of your assets, liabilities, income, and expenses. This clear snapshot will serve as a starting point for making informed financial choices.

2. Develop a Budget: Crafting a budget is a fundamental step in managing your finances effectively. Outline your monthly income and allocate funds for essential expenses like housing, utilities, food, and transportation. This will help you gain control over your spending and ensure that you live within your means.

3. Prioritize Debt Management: Address any existing debts promptly. Identify high-interest obligations and create a strategy to pay them down efficiently. Minimizing debt can alleviate financial stress and free up resources for more crucial priorities.

4. Establish an Emergency Fund: Life is unpredictable, and having an emergency fund is your safety net in times of unexpected expenses or emergencies. Aim to save three to six months’ worth of living expenses in a separate account.

5. Understand Child Support : Familiarize yourself with the legal requirements and obligations regarding child support payments. Comply with court orders and ensure these responsibilities are factored into your budget.

6. Open Separate Financial Accounts: Establish individual bank accounts, credit cards, and other financial accounts to maintain autonomy and organization in your finances.

7. Update Legal and Financial Documents: Review and update legal documents such as your will, beneficiaries, and insurance policies to reflect your new circumstances accurately.

8. Seek Professional Financial Advice: Enlist the services of a certified financial planner or advisor with experience in divorce and separation. They can provide personalized guidance on managing assets, investments, and future financial goals.
If you work for a corporation, check their EAP (Employee Assistance Program) most large organisations have one. They will have up to 6 free sessions with a financial adviser and it’s all confidential.

9. Plan for Retirement: Even during separation, it’s crucial to continue planning for your retirement. Contribute to retirement accounts if you can with salary sacrificing and maintain a long-term perspective on your financial well-being. That day will come and you’ll be glad you did!

10. Invest in Financial Literacy Education: Take advantage of workshops, seminars, and online resources to enhance your financial literacy. Understanding concepts like investing, taxes, and estate planning will empower you to make informed decisions. The Gov’t has a good website called “Money Smart”.. its a good place to start.

11. Explore Income-Generating Opportunities: Consider avenues to boost your income, such as pursuing additional education, training, or side hassles. Diversifying your income sources can provide greater financial stability.

12. Secure Adequate Insurance Coverage: Review your insurance policies, including health, life, and disability coverage. Ensure you have adequate protection for yourself and your dependents.

13. Involve Your Children: Teach your children about financial responsibility and involve them in age-appropriate discussions about budgeting, saving, and making thoughtful spending choices.

14. Embrace minimalistic and Smart Spending: As you adjust to your new financial reality, adopt a mindset of minimal. Cut unnecessary expenses, negotiate bills, and make conscious spending decisions. I hope you don’t have credit cards? If you do, cut them up. Call your bank and ask for a lower interest rate on your credit card, you’ll be surprised what you get if you ask. Then pay them off.

15. Plan for Future Goals: Set short- and long-term financial goals, whether it’s purchasing a home, funding your children’s education, or achieving a dream vacation. Developing a roadmap will help you stay focused and motivated.

Navigating the waters of financial smarts as a separated dad requires dedication, education, and a commitment to your future. By proactively managing your finances, seeking expert guidance, and making informed choices, you can build a solid financial foundation that not only supports you but also contributes to the well-being and stability of your family. Remember, every step you take towards financial empowerment brings you one step closer to a brighter and more secure future.

A great book that got my finances sorted was “The Barefoot Investor” (The only money guide you’ll ever need) and I recommend you buy it and adopt Scott Pape’s strategies.

Best Wishes
Dads Online

Have you really thought this through?

I receive many emails and speak to many dads on our live chat service and recently a dad ask me a question that made me think that you didn’t think this through, did you?

He said to me …”I recently have left my wife and child, they have stayed in our family home, my wife doesn’t work and I have gone and rented my own property. Do I have to continue to pay for the mortgage on our joint property as its costing me a fortune! WHAT?

Your wife doesn’t work, you have a child still living with her in the family home and recently separated, what do you expect they do?

Its super expensive to separate and divorce, suddenly there are two homes and two of everything that need to be duplicated i.e. rents, furniture, food, bills, and everything that goes with setting up a new home for you and your child. There is massive change for both sides, its already very emotional, scary, unsettling, distracting and each person – Mum and Dad need to have a secure roof over each of your heads and while things are being settled you need to make sure that you are both ok. Remember you have a child that needs to spend time with both parents and they need to see that Mum and Dad are ok.

If you have equity in the house, savings and you both work, its still going to be tough and cost you more than living in a shared house but much easier than if one of you don’t work. It will definitely adds another level of complexity that needs to be worked out.

So think carefully if your relationship can be saved. What could each of you do to get back on track, the way it used to be… you were once madly in-love! If that isn’t possible? Do your numbers, grab a note pad, bring up an excel spreadsheet and do a full budget based on how you will both be able to live in two separate homes and cover all bills associated with the family and your child.

At least then you can make better decisions with knowledge of what you’re about to enter into and you can decide what the best next steps will be for everyone.

How to recognize and prevent domestic violence happening in your family

All reports are telling us that one of the impacts of COVID-19 because of the population needing to stay at home is causing an increase in Domestic Violence. Firstly: If you feel unsafe or are concerned for someone’s safety please call 000 or one of the Domestic Violence Support services below.

These are exceptional circumstances and it does not excuse aggressive behavior or any type of behavior that could constitute domestic violence.

Are you working from home and feel like you’re trapped and don’t have any relief or time to yourself? You’re easily annoyed at your partner &/or kids?
Remember no-one signed up for your BS! Take accountability and go for a regular walk to get some air, exercise and if you need some space.

During these times there are many professional services you can talk to, like: Online counsellors, 24/7 phone support and even chat services. Google them and connect to a service now! If you a man, a good initial support service to approach would be men’s Referral Service: 1300 766 491 and if your a women a good initial support service to approach would be 1800 Respect National Helpline: 1800 737 732

You might even have lost your job and feeling sad and lost, these feelings are normal, remember you are human. If you don’t know how you’re going to pay the bills like rent, the mortgage, school fees or food. The best thing you can do is act quickly. Sign up to a MyGov account and register for Centerlink. Talk to your rental agents, your bank and the school they will all be very supportive during these times.

Emergency relief organisations provide immediate financial and/or material support to people in financial crisis. The type of assistance offered by each organisation varies, so log onto the Department of Social Services Emergency Relief website and find the support service closest to you.

Its especially time to be kind, supportive and tolerant of each other but it is very important to recognize the signs of domestic violence.

This is what typically a cycle of Domestic Violence looks like:

  1. Stand-over phase (intimidation)
  3. Remorse Phase (Justification)
  4. Pursuit Phase (Promises)
  5. Honeymoon Phase (Behaves like the perfect partner)
  6. Build-up Phase (Increasing tension again)

Domestic Violence is not just hitting, other categories are:

  • Social
    • Isolating family or friends
    • Jealousy, accusing of affairs
    • Controlling appearance
    • Needing total attention
    • Smashing or removing mobile
    • Monitoring phone calls, internet or messages
    • Preventing social or employment opportunities
    • Denigrating family or friends
    • Murder
    • Strangling or suffocating
    • Throwing objects
    • Punching, hitting, slapping
    • Reckless driving
    • Use of weapons
    • Hair pulling, spitting
    • Locked Inside or Outside
    • Damage to possessions
    • Cruelty to pets
    • Forced substance abuse
    • Withholding access to medical help
    • Over or under medicate
    • Trivialization of medical conditions
    • Taunting someone in a vulnerable state
    • Insults and put-downs
    • Silent treatment
    • Name calling
    • Sarcasm
    • Fault finding
    • Lies
    • Public Humiliation
    • Threats
    • Dominating conversation
    • Yelling, shouting
    • Whispering
    • Being indiscreet
    • Always correcting
    • Excessive phone calls or text messages, emails or letters
    • Driving past work or house
    • Reading or taking mail
    • Turning up at places where victim frequents
    • Threat to suicide
    • Emotional blackmail
    • Self -esteem erosion
    • Criticizing appearance or body shape
    • Undermining character
    • scaring
    • Implying mental illness
    • Spreading rumors
    • Private humiliation
    • Denying education
    • Jekyll and Hyde mood
    • Minimizing or dismissing feelings
    • Mind games
    • Rape
    • Rationing or denial of sex
    • Sex on their conditions
    • Denying choice of contraception
    • Beliefs and practices around female circumcision
    • Enforcing sexual practices they are not comfortable with
    • Pornography
    • Sex in-front of children
    • Bestiality
    • Forced abortion
    • Risky behavior
    • Total control of finances
    • Restricting earning
    • Rationing or placing conditions on money
    • Drinking, gambling
    • Control of shopping expenditure
    • Concealing assets
    • Unable to buy new clothes
    • Forcing to take out loans on credit cards
    • Denying choices
    • Demanding you take on their beliefs
    • Using beliefs to justify behavior
    • Not allowing negotiation in children’s spiritual education

Let’s not forget the effects to children who are living in the home of domestic violence.

There are many effects that have been documented of emotional and behavioural problems in children exposed to domestic violence, these include:

  1. Low Self Esteem
  2. Poor conflict resolutions
  3. Repressed feelings of anger, fear, guilt and confusion
  4. Adjustment problems, fewer interests, fewer social activities
  5. Unwillingness to invite friends home
  6. Increased levels of anxiety
  7. Clinginess
  8. Adolescent boys abusing girls
  9. Excessive cruelty to animals
  10. Stress-related physical ailments, headaches, stomach aches, ulcers, bed-wetting
  11. Eating problems – decreased or increased apitite
  12. Sleeping problems including nightmares
  13. Hair pulling, nail biting
  14. Fear of making mistakes
  15. Fear of being touches
  16. Aggression, temper tantrums
  17. Increased internalized problems, such as depression, withdrawal, isolation, loneliness
  18. Decreased cognitive abilities
  19. Poor school performance, difficult to do homework or study
  20. Restlessness
  21. Decreased empathy
  22. Suicidal thoughts
  23. Lower rating in social competence (especially in boys)
  24. Inability to form stable adult relationships
  25. Higher risks of alcohol – drug abuse and juvenile delinquency

There is every reason in the world to get yourself help and stop domestic violent behaviour, seek out help immediately. Don’t fool yourself, every negative action erodes both your partner, children, family relationships and your quality of life.

Family and domestic violence support services:

  1. 1800 Respect National Helpline: 1800 737 732
  2. Women’s Crisis Line (NSW): 1800 811 811
  3. Safe Steps Crisis Line (Vic): 1800 015 188
  4. Men’s Referral Service: 1300 766 491
  5. Lifeline (24-hour Crisis Line): 131 114
  6. Relationships Australia: 1300 364 277

The more you can agree, the cheaper it will be

Dads Online speak with family lawyer, Daniel Dalli of Aston Legal Group about the benefits of coming to an agreement and how avoiding the lawyers to office to resolve conflict can assist in the long run. These series of podcasts focusing on separation and divorce can equip you, in making better decisions about your family matters.

Dads, we hope that you find this podcast informative. Remember if you are feeling overwhelmed with sadness or grief, or need someone to talk to, there are organisations that can help. Call Mensline ( on 1300 789 978 or Lifeline ( on 13 11 14.

If you need family law assistance from a lawyer, feel free to contact Daniel Dalli, Partner of Aston Legal Group ( on either 0423 729 686 or email at You don’t need to go through this alone. Best wishes and don’t forget to subscribe to our podcast.
The content of this podcast is intended to provide a general overview of the subject matter and is not be relied upon as giving legal advice. Advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

Simple ways to save money on your financial separation

Any relationship breakdown is hard. With kids it is harder still. Emotions run high with sense and reason sometimes taking a back seat. The main focus is on protecting your children and rebuilding your future throughout this difficult time. You will make some of the biggest decisions of your life whilst trying to stay sane in the day-to-day. Then there’s the financial side …

Ex-couples can make huge mistakes during the separation process, and these mistakes can cost them big time. In fact, by not understanding the full ramifications of a financial separation, or by understanding but ignoring them, the amount of money wasted could affect the rest of your life, and in-turn the lives of your children.

Now is time to get your head around the best practice when it comes to splitting your assets. The choices you make will have a big impact on your present and your future. Get educated. Get confident. And get ready to move on with the rest of your life.

Here is our advice to keep costs down and get the best possible outcome when you separate from your partner.

Communication is crucial

Ironically, at a time when communication with your ex-partner may have broken-down, is the time it matters most. Learning to communicate calmly and respectfully with each other will save money, stress and time. Step-back and consider what form of communication is most effective between you and your ex-partner. In many cases, email is good as time can be taken to deliver clear and respectful wording, and eliminates the erratic emotion that can interject a phone call or texts or an in-person chat. It also allows the recipient to respond when they are calm and clear-headed. If you are aware of words, actions or even body language that may trigger your ex-partner, avoid them. It only takes one person to pave the way for better communication. Be that person. It will allow you to work through your financial separation logically and quickly without costly lawyers or courts making decisions which are out of your hands and you may not agree with.

Focus on the kids

In nearly all family breakdowns, each parent has one priority: Their children. Remember this is your common ground. Ultimately you both want the best for your children. Focusing on this one fact will get you a faster, less-costly, better outcome from your financial separation. Put aside your differences from the past and concentrate on the bigger picture and the future. No-one is more significant in this than your children. You may find that your mutual need to support them is what guides you through to a solution.

Educate yourself

When it comes to your financial separation, knowledge is not only power, but is also a huge money saver. The best bit is, there is plenty of free stuff available. This video from the Federal Circuit Court of Australia explains how to apply for a divorce and you can read-up on financial separation on the Divide website here. Warning: Make sure you arm yourself with the ‘correct’ knowledge. Advice from friends and family is well-meaning, but every financial separation is different so stick to the actuality and how it will influence your personal situation. Mistakes are costly and can be avoided by getting the facts early on.

DIY it

Like everything in life, the more you do yourself, the more money you will save. If you need professional support, either with a financial separation specialist or a lawyer, get as much information prepared before your first appointment with them. This includes, but is not limited to, your separation date, bank statements, mortgage statements, tax returns and superannuation details. Dig out the paperwork, make the necessary phone calls and compile a folder. Encourage your ex-partner to do the same. It may seem tiresome, possibly overwhelming, but the money you save by doing your own admin and anything else you are capable of, can be used to rebuild a better future for you and your children.

Be transparent

The key to a cost-effective and fast financial separation is transparency. Put it this way, it will all come out in the end. Be honest and open about your financials as well as your feelings. If you lead by example, your ex-partner is more likely to do the same. Half-truths and embellishments, for any reason, will slow down and complicate the process. They can even break-down an amicable process. If this happens lawyers may need to get involved, which means extra costs for both parties and will likely create more aggressive ‘via lawyer’ communication which will have consequences now and in the future.

Not in it to win it

Financial separation is not a battle field. There are no winners or losers. When you and your partner are both in this mindset it will be easier to move forward. By removing this competitive edge from the negotiations will allow you to make non-emotional, cost benefit-based decisions. Adopt a give and take attitude and you may find that your ex-partner follows your lead. Be flexible and open to her ideas and suggestions, and you may notice she is more open to yours. Remember, the aim here is to find middle ground that will allow you both to move on with your lives and be the best co-parents you can be.



Chris Staples is a Director at Divide – Simple Financial Separation. He has seen how wealth is eroded through a divorce done badly and believes there is a cleaner way to make the break financially. He now helps couples with their financial separations in a cost-effective, peaceful manner, without using lawyers.

Mistakes dads make when trying to get out of debt

Being in debt can feel like the weight of the world is on your shoulders – similar to having kids depend on you. When you have both of those at the same time, it can seem impossible to find a solution. Being a parent in debt means that as well as trying to pay it all off, you have to look after children at the same time. Don’t make these mistakes when trying to pay off your debt.

Not being straight with the kids

Children are often more mature than we give them credit for. One of the worst things you can do as a parent in debt is not giving your kids the respect they deserve and telling them about your troubles. Perhaps you think that you don’t want to burden them with your problems but hiding things will only make things worse in the long run. Or maybe you don’t think they will understand – young kids can understand money surprisingly well. If you come out early and tell them that you are experiencing some money problems, they will be more understanding when you don’t buy them the shiny new gadgets that they want.

Sticking to old spending habits

Your old spending habits are likely what got you into this debt predicament in the first place. Habits can be difficult to break. You probably always shop at the same place but perhaps now you need to go somewhere a bit cheaper to keep your food costs down. You will most likely need to curtail how much you eat and drink out – home cooked meals, batch cooking and supermarket alcohol are much cheaper choices. You should also make your own lunches for work instead of buying meal deals or going to a fast food place. There are a lot of online resources dedicated to providing advice on better management of personal finances, with offering advice tailored to Australians.

Not budgeting

Everyone should be budgeting, whether in debt or not. Having a weekly and monthly budget will help ensure that you do not spend more than you have. When you are in debt, you need to make sure that you’re not spending more money than you have as well as putting aside money to pay off the debt. Make sure you factor in everything – food, bills, clothing, the car, smartphone bill and any commuting costs, as well as the money you need to pay off the debts. If you need help making a budget, then the Australian government website has some tips.

Not making sacrifices

Perhaps you and the kids are really looking forward to the holiday you’ve got coming up next year; however, can you really afford to pay for flights, accommodation, food and activities? Being in debt means that you will have to make some sacrifices. You need to sit down and look at your budget – can you really afford to do that? If not, then you have to be willing to break the news to your family and cancel the holiday plans. It will be painful, and the kids will be bitterly disappointed but at least you won’t get into more debt and trust me they will get over it.

Getting rid of credit cards once and for all

Over Christmas I read a book by The barefoot investor. It made a lot of sense, more sense than I have heard before about getting on top of finances.
If you’re having trouble getting control over your money, don’t worry, there is a way of getting rid of your debt & loans and enjoying financial freedom again.

Go buy the book, its online but a quick simple step that hooked me was to firstly cut those credit cards up. Secondly, I have been juggling my monthly salary and paying as much off my multiple debts as possible. I had a couple of credit cards, a car & motorcycle loan and a mortgage. If you thought trying to paying as much as you can off all of them was the answer…wait a sec, keep reading.

Put your debt/loans into a list from smallest to largest. Go on, all of them. Your credit card debt is the most important. Concentrate on the smallest debt first and from now-on pay the minimum off all of the debts (accept the smallest) Work to knock off the smallest first, then the next and the next. It might take a little while but by focusing on paying one (1) off at a time you will get wins and eventually pay them all down to zero (Freedom).

I wasn’t thinking that way, i thought by adding a little extra to all of them would reduce the debt but really it was going to take forever to pay them off. Focus on paying extra to the smallest debt and then working through the rest will clear debt quicker in the right order and start to free up your cash.

The important key here is to cut up the cards and only live on what you can pay cash for, a good lesson for our kids.
The barefoot investor has a really good formula for splitting up your salary each month and saving for the future and allowing yourself to splurge too.

Note: this is not a paid advertisement for the barefoot investor, i just really liked the book and the practical ideas he had.

Can I say, if you need your credit card to fill a gap at the end of the month, you need to adjust your lifestyle, and reduce expenses so that your monthly salary covers everything.

Go on, make 2017 the year of clearing debt and enjoy the freedom of having money.

#barefootinvestor #theonlymoneyguideyoulleverneed #scottpape

It’s expensive to break up

its-expensive-to-break-upI don’t think the expense of breaking up is ever considered when we are thinking about breaking up? If we did, we might try a little harder to stay together because it can put an enormous amount of strain on the hip pocket!

When we know it’s over or when we know this person we are currently calling a partner is not going to be a “life” partner, all we can think about is moving out and on and trust everything will be ok. It’s important to make sure that both people involved are ok and living arrangements and money have been considered fairly so no one is doing it unreasonably tough.

Over time things slowly return to normal (or a new normal)  but the initial expense can be a real shock and i don’t think any of us expected or worked on a “break up budget” when we made our mind up to break up.

Who would have thought we need to have two of everything 🙂 Some people instigating the break up, tend to be quite generous and it would be normal to just leave with our clothes in a suitcase. If it is more of a fair divide? then half of all the living items needs to be repurchased. If you have kids, it is more beds,towels, crockery, table & chairs and clothes, toys, books and sporting equipment etc too.

Don’t forget the bond & rent of your new home becomes fully paid for by one (1) person, gas, electricity, food, insurances, foxtel etc etc all is now paid for solely by you.

There are ways to minimize the financial pain

If you know its coming and you have months to plan, start putting money aside and build an emergency fund, we all should have one anyway, even if you are completely happy and in love with you partner. You never know what can blind side you at 3pm on a Tuesday afternoon, trust me it can happen.

Once you have worked out the divide, write a gap list and and let your friends and family know what you need, your friends and family can bring you some of the essentials you will need to start again, this can help with your personal support by having supportive friends & family visiting you. Myer have a gift registry where they will list all the things you need,  like, towels, bedding, glasses, kitchen appliances, cups, cutlery etc and as they get purchased, Myer will cross them off your list so no one doubles up on break up gifts.

You can also create a new bank account for the “start again fund” and send the account details to all your friends, family and Facebook contacts and ask them to contribute anything they can – the smallest amounts all add up. Don’t forget to personally thank every contributor!

I hope you never have to experience a break up, sometimes it is inevitable, this might give you some ideas to think about before you make that decision. Try hard to resolve your issues as it is much cheaper and financially better in the long term to stay together and work things out.


Dads saving dollars by DIY at home

Dads saving dollars by DIY at homeYou don’t need to have a huge knowledge about cars and their parts to maintain a car. A little bit of knowledge and some DIY can save you from spending hundreds of dollars. You can use scheduled maintenance guides, fact sheets and watch instructional videos on YouTube to familiarise yourself with cars, their parts, tools, and accessories. There is a brand new website called Partsales that allows consumers to conveniently purchase parts and accessories that fit their car. All you have to do is enter your vehicle’s make, model, and year into their compatibility tool and you’re on your way. It is definitely a site to visit if you’re in the market for parts and accessories.
Dads saving money at home DIY

With a simple set of basic tools, you can easily replace and repair parts on your vehicle that a mechanic would happily charge you big dollars for. Let’s discuss some easy ways by which you can keep up your car in a very good condition.

  1. How to change your brake pads

Brake shops and mechanics charge hundreds of dollars for changing your brake pads but you will be surprised to know that this is a very simple job and you can do it by yourself. Industry has made a mind set for others that it’s a very tough job to change brake pads but they are much easier to supersede than those old drum brakes. First of all you must have a jack, wheel lung wrench and a jack stand to get under the car and to change or replace the brakes. You must be having pliers and some wrenches also.

Your new brake pads will cost a fraction of the price by DIY although you can compare the prices in market. Lift the wheel off first of all and move out the hardware. Draw out the broken pads and press in the caliper piston. Put in the new pads and set up the hardware again. It will take only one hour to do all wheels.

  1. How to replace the battery?

Among several DIY repairs, replacement of the battery is the easiest one. A battery normally lasts for 5-6 years . If your battery needs to be changed, pick a battery according to your car’s model. You need a set of basic wrenches to swap the battery. You must be careful about the order of the cables you remove and reinstall. Remove the black cable having negative charge first and set up the battery. After replacing the battery install the black cable in last. If you don’t follow the order you will experience a short circuit in the positive terminal of your car.

How to replace spark plugs?

Replacing spark plugs is another very easy task which you can do by yourself. A spark plug wrench is used along the set of regular tools to replace spark plugs. You can search online and use the cars make and model, which can be found in the owner’s manual. This is another great DIY task that will save you a lot of money.

  1. How to interchange a taillight?

Its always a great idea to walk around the car every so often just to confirm that all parts of the car are working properly and they don’t need a repair or replacement. If your vehicle’s headlight or taillight is not working it can affect your safety not to mention your insurance invalid. You will need a person to check the taillight. If any of your car’s light is not working you can easily replace it with the new one. You can find them online too. It’s always best to use cotton or plastic gloves when handling bulbs.

  1. Replacement of air filters

Dealerships and mechanics usually increase the bill by the replacement of air filters with labor and high cost of air filters. Air filters can be fixed quickly and leisurely. In the replacement process, open up the bonnet of the vehicle and with a couple of screws turned and filters interchanged you can save your time and dollars.

There are so many parts and accessories that I’m sure you can DIY by just having a go and a little confidence. Good luck!

Can my ex claim anything to do with my future new property

Often we get asked interesting questions, so we nicely ask our professional friends of Dads Online to help provide answers to them. Remember this is not official legal advise as everyone’s situation is different, it is only an experts opinion. All names and identifying remarks have been omitted.

can my ex claim anything to do with my future new propertyQuestion: I have been separated from my wife for a few years and have a teenage daughter from that marriage. I have a new partner since then and a young child with her. I have recently started the divorce papers but have found it difficult to finish because of the cost, which seems to be set at $800.  I’m not sure how I can afford this, I will try and loan this and pay the full amount. There was a property settlement in 2011 and I received a small payout.

The marriage breakdown was sited as due to irretrievable differences. My ex bought a house a year after settlement and lives there with my teenage daughter. Ever since the separation Ive been renting with my new partner and young daughter, I have always made a warm bedroom to include my teenage daughter when she comes to stay with us.

Since gaining Full Time employment I have just recently entered into purchasing a new house, placing it under contract pending finance. My question is, which people seem to be alerting me to: can my ex claim anything to do with my new property given I have not yet completed the divorce papers.

Answer: If the person putting through the divorce has a health care card they should enquire as the application may be at a lower rate. The divorce papers are different to a final property settlement. A divorce relates to the dissolution of the marriage and not the division of assets. If there is an order made by the Courts for the division of property, it is likely that it will exclude each party from making a claim to the other party’s future property.

How to stop spending more than you earn

How to stop spending more than you earnSpending more than you earn is the quickest way to get into financial stress, Lets say for example your take home pay is $4,000 a month but you actually spend $4,800. You ask how? Credit card debt, that’s how! Spending more than you earn is common & so easily done that you may not even realize your doing it until your credit card repayments start getting more than you can afford, and then you find yourself in financial trouble.

It can be very stressful at the end of the month when you try to divvy up your pay. You will have to put off what you can, go without, get an extension, part pay, run the petrol tank lean, go without lunch, eat the cupboard bear and often end up borrowing money to get you through to next pay packet.

The people that have been through this and survived know how important it is to “live within your means”. It usually only takes one bad experience of financial stress to never want to experience it again. It’s horrid, your whole world comes to a halt economically and you’re forced to have embarrassing conversations with telephone operators of utility companies, banks and landlords.

Some great financial tips to stop this happening are:

  • Know how much you take home a month. Regardless of whether you’re paid weekly, fortnightly or monthly you can need to know what you take home in real dollars $. If your income is variable, look back over the last 6 months and calculate an average monthly take home pay.
  • Know what your total monthly expenses are and know your debt. If you need a budget planner, here is one that I used and found it to be comprehensive, Click here for budget planner
  • Know what you bottom line is. Subtract all your monthly financial commitments from your monthly take home pay and that is your bottom line. If you have money left over at the end of the month then you are “living within your means”. If you have no Gap then you must evaluate where you can make adjustments and reduce spending in non critical areas. Often you can workout needs versus wants.
  • Know what your wants and needs are. It takes discipline and strength of character to put on hold your “wants”. For a while whilst you get under financial control, just go with what you need.

Getting back to a positive gap takes time but it is achievable, you get good at budgeting, good at saying “no” and believe it or not you do feel a sense of accomplishment. Its tough being frugal, no one likes it but if your in a position that you cant afford you will need to go through a little pain to get to pleasure by having your finances under control.

Never test the depth of the water with both feet.

Warren buffet financial tipsWarren Edward Buffett; born August 30, 1930, is an American business magnate, investor and philanthropist. He was the most successful investor of the 20th century. He has 6 good financial tips that we can all use and adopt into our life.

  • On Earnings – Never depend on single income. Make investments to create a second source.
  • On spending – If you buy things your don’t need, soon you will have to sell thing you do need.
  • On Savings – Do not save what is left after spending, but spend what is left after saving.
  • On taking risks – Never test the depth of the water with both feet.
  • On Investments – Never put all your eggs in the one basket.
  • On expectation – Honesty is an expensive gift. Do not expect it from cheap people.

I think you would agree that if you adopt these strategies for your financial well-being, it is hard to go wrong.