Video Transcript

Hi. Welcome to the third video in Module 1. My name is Leanne Abela. I'm Director and Partner at Pearsons. And if this is the first video you've seen, I strongly recommend you go back to the beginning and view everything we've got to offer in the series either by looking at our Pearsons' YouTube channel or to the Pearson's webpage.

In this video, we're going to cover those documents which we think will be really useful for you to have. So again, in the cases we see, a lot of time and money is spent as a result of people not being able to gather information and then leaving it to the lawyers to try and collect documents and information that they should really have themselves.

They'll often curse themselves and say, "Why didn't I collect that before I left the home?" or "Why did I let the other party take that?" So by taking this step,not only are you saving yourself time and money, but you're making sure you're not disadvantaged and that you have all the information that you need, your lawyer needs, and in the unfortunate situation where the matter does go to court, that the courts have got everything they need to be able to make an assessment as to what you're both entitled to.

So there's a range of documents, some involve the children, some don't.  So if we start with the documents which are pretty useful to have regardless of whether or not there are children. That would be your marriage certificate,Titles to the property, now most people do have their Titles held in a deed box at the bank, but in some instance people haven't gotten around to placing it in a secure place, so you can either bring that Title to your lawyer or take it into a safety deposit box. It really shouldn't be at home anyway.

It's useful to get bank statements, mortgage statements, credit card statements,tax returns, superannuation statements. Now as far to how far back as you should go, useful probably to go back three to five years and to get current statements if you can.

Also, passports, particularly if there are children. In many instances, people are fearful that their partner may take off to another country with their children and that may or may not be a Hague Convention country and it's just one worry you may want to eliminate. So if you take the passports and, again, put them in the deed box with the title or take then to your solicitors, they'll be there for safekeeping.

Pay slips are also useful to show what the current income is of your partner. And then also any other documents you think relate to your relationship and the finances of you and your partner.

So in some instances there are trust deeds, company documents, accountant statements, calculations that the two of you have made when you've tried to work out what your finances are going to be like in the future or how you're going to retire. Those workings and documents are useful so that we know what the assets were or what was going to be expected to come in from either the running of a business or from an investment.

You can get those documents from your accountant but again that can be expensive and a duplication. And so if you've got those documents at home, worthwhile getting.

Now, don't panic if you can't find them and don't let that stop your separation if that's what holding you back. We can always obtain that information by subpoenaing documents through the court process, by contacting the superannuation fund of your partner.

There's now legislation in place that allows us to do that where as previously we had to rely on trying to find it. You can actually get that information quite easily and readily. But anything that you can do to help yourself saves time and saves money. And what you don't want is to be paying solicitors an hourly rate to do something that you can do yourself.

So, once you've got all that information, put it all in a folder and then take it to a safe place. Don't leave it at home; don't leave it in the car. Take it to a friend or to your workplace where your partner can't access it.

Alternatively, you may want to photocopy it and then return it back to where you found it. Either way, as long as you've got a set that's in a safe place you'll be well equipped. And this is the very thing that can often delay processes in settlement, can often cost lots of money because letters are being passed between solicitors while they're gathering this information, rather than calculating the range itself, which as I said is a topic in itself and will be dealt with later in one of the other videos.

So, now you've got all the information you need in terms of action you can take straight away without consulting a solicitor and you can either decide to wait, until you've decided whether or not you want to separate, or you can go and make an appointment with a lawyer. And any one of our team can see you for a first appointment free, and if you take that information with you, you'll find that you breeze through the appointment and that by the conclusion of that appointment, or by the end of this series of videos, you'll have an idea of the range of settlement and the expectation you'll have in relation to your
children prior to any other court action.

So that's it for Module 1. Now to sum things up, hopefully there are two things that you've done. Firstly, you should have taken a series of actions which will give you peace of mind and security knowing that you've attended to certain housekeeping matters, and secondly you should have a folder of documents which will put you in good stead regardless of where you are in the legal process and regardless of where you're going to end up.

Now, if you're feeling ready, I suggest you move onto Module 2 which is entitled, "Divorce and the Law."

All our videos in this Youtube series can be found through the Pearsons Youtube Channel at or by visiting the Pearsons website at and following the links.

Alternatively, if you know that its simply time to see a Family Lawyer, please contact us for a free initial consultation. Please be advised that we must complete a conflict check so that we can only represent one party in a Family Law matter. So if your partner is watching this same Youtube series and engages our services before you do, we advise that we may
not be able to talk to you.

Whatever it is that you choose, its our wish that throughout this Youtube series, you can finally gain a sense of certainty so that you know where you stand.



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