Should I move out of home?
Whether or not you move out of home is a personal decision that is subjective and largely depends on your particular circumstances. Nevertheless, if your spouse is violent you should seriously consider moving out (see below). If the relationship with your spouse is becoming toxic to such an extent that it is uncomfortable, then staying at home may not be a good idea. Depending on your situation, staying at home may increase the animosity between you, not to mention the emotional distress. This may intensify and prolong a legal resolution that satisfies all parties.
If you have children and feel that they would suffer from the continuation of conflict then you should consider moving out, if possible. It is difficult to decide on whether to stay at home, but the interests and comfort of your children should be taken into account. That is not to say that priority should be given to your child’s interests. You must also consider the impacts of remaining in the same house with your spouse on you personally and whether it is worth it. Ultimately, it is only you that can make such an important decision, something that your spouse should respect.
The remaining spouse will usually be responsible for the utility, internet and phone bills. Conversely, they will also be in possession of a considerable asset, albeit with sole responsibility for maintenance and insurance costs.
Should I consider redirecting my mail?
If you’re planning to move out of the home, then redirecting your mail is a wise decision. You should notify your spouse, if possible, of such a decision. Consideration should also be given to utility, internet and phone bills. You should contact those respective companies to make sure they place the accounts under the name of the remaining spouse.
You should also notify the relevant authorities of your change of address, for example the Australian Electoral Commission and VicRoads.
Can I protect myself from my violent spouse?
If you have a violent spouse you should seriously consider moving out of the home. You can protect yourself by applying for an intervention order and contacting the Police.
Intervention orders are used to create a physical distance between you and your spouse to eliminate any future potential of violence.
If you are the victim of domestic violence you should seek counselling from professionals, such as the Women’s Domestic Violence Crisis Service of Victoria. They can help you with accommodation, counselling and other information. There are many similar related services, which should be called upon, if need be, without a moments hesitation. They have considerable experience in the area and are more than willing to help.
Should I talk it out with my spouse?
In some circumstances, before an application can be made to the Family Court the parties must show that they have genuinely tried to reach agreement through mediation.
If you think it is appropriate and achievable, sitting down with your spouse one-on-one can be beneficial. Usually, to save themselves from further unnecessary emotional anguish, parties agree to a mediation consisting of themselves, their respective solicitors and an agreed mediator.
It may be beneficial to sit down and talk with your spouse on issues relating to the division of furniture, for example, especially if the relationship is still relatively amicable. This may well set in train a mutual commitment to ensuring a relatively quick and less expensive resolution, rather than resorting to the hassle of litigation.
Nevett Ford provides excellent advice on property settlement and mediation; if you wish to engage our services, please to not hesitate to contact us on 03 9614 7111.
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