Building a new life after a divorce or separation is best seen as an opportunity to start fresh. But that doesn’t mean it’s always going to be easy. Here are some people to help you on your way.

Look into financial support

Divorce or separation could be expensive. If you’re struggling to keep up with your financial responsibilities, you could consider seeing if you can get support from Centrelink.

You might be able to receive money while searching for a job. Centrelink also offers a useful Child Support online account to check when your payments are due, how much you'll get, or how much you owe.

If you're finding it tough to keep up with payments on your NAB credit cards, loans or mortgages, we'll do all we can to lend a hand. Call NAB Assist directly on 1800 701 599, or learn more about the help we can provide.

Or you can see our Customer Care Kit for information on resources like the Fair Work Ombudsman and the National Debt Helpline.

Know the signs for a mental health checkup

Depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues are common following a divorce or separation.

It’s important that you're aware of the signs so you can take action early. Here's what beyondblue — our national mental health advocacy service — list as some possible symptoms to look out for:

  • not going out anymore
  • not getting things done at work/school
  • withdrawing from close family and friends
  • relying on alcohol and sedatives
  • not doing usual enjoyable activities
  • unable to concentrate
  • tired all the time
  • sick and run down
  • headaches and muscle pains
  • churning stomach
  • sleep problems
  • loss or change of appetite
  • significant weight loss or gain

They've also created a simple checklist to spot the signs and take the next steps.

Recognise and prevent family violence or abuse

Domestic violence happens in all sorts of ways. If you’re feeling intimidated or controlled, never hesitate to reach out to family, friends, or somebody you trust for help.

1800 RESPECT is the national sexual assault, domestic and family violence counselling service. They provide confidential telephone and online counselling, information and referral for people experiencing, or at risk of experiencing, sexual assault, domestic or family violence.

Organisations like White Ribbon Australia and safe steps can also help support you with specialised services to help protect you from—and prevent—dangerous situations.

We’re always here for you, too. See how we can help in situations of domestic violence.

Make use of Legal Aid and mediation services

Legal Aid is a government-funded service that offers people legal advice and representation generally for free.

To be eligible, you’ll need to pass various means and merits tests, and meet the relevant legal aid commission’s guidelines.

If you aren't eligible, you can look into getting assistance from your local community legal centre instead.

Family Dispute Resolution—or mediation—is a service from Relationships Australia to help you sort out legal disputes during your divorce or separation.

If you’re having difficulty negotiating child care, child support, financial arrangements, or property settlement, their team can help.

For more tips on where to start organising yourself during a divorce or separation, download our simple checklist.


Glossary

Allowance

A regular payment that helps someone cover their needs and expenses. This may not be required to be repaid, but is often in exchange for an action or service.

Advocacy

Advocacy is the public support for a certain cause by a group or individual. Advocacy also entails publicly recommending a particular opinion, policy, or action.

Domestic violence

Domestic violence is violent or aggressive behaviour that happens in the home, by a spouse or partner. This can be physical, psychological, financial, emotional, or verbal.

Mediation

The intervention in a dispute, process, or relationship by a separate party. In a legal sense, mediation is when a third party will assist in negotiating between two opposing parties to reach a peaceful solution.

Means and merits test

A range of tests and criteria that look at a number of personal attributes such as your income, and internal policies such as whether Legal Aid deals with your particular case. These tests vary from state to state, so be sure to ask the right questions when applying.

Important information

The information contained in this article is intended to be of a general nature only. It has been prepared without taking into account any person’s objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on this information, NAB recommends that you consider whether it’s appropriate for your circumstances. NAB recommends you seek independent legal, financial, and taxation advice before acting on any information in this article.

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