New guide addresses debt issues for separating couples

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As part of its commitment under the Declaration on Women’s Economic Security 2020, the the federal government produced A resource to help separating couples understand their legal options regarding inherited debt related to relationship breakdown.

The guide includes information on family law and consumer credit law, as well as reference services that can help a couple “proactively manage” the dissolution of their partnership. It also offers advice on how to divide responsibility for joint and other debts belonging to a couple, without having to resort to judicial settlement of the problem (if possible), and on the rights that exist during the different stages of the separation. .

Women’s Minister Senator Marise Payne and Attorney General Michaelia Cash announced the new guide in a joint statement released Thursday. They said the resource was particularly focused on how to protect victims of financial abuse from the unfair division of assets and debts.

“One party, often the wife, may take sole responsibility for joint and other debts due to fear of credit default, bankruptcy, harassment from collection agencies or eviction,” said Payne, also referring to the difficulty of solving debt sharing issues if a woman also suffered from domestic violence.

By explaining how debts are handled under family law, the document describes the financial and legal responsibilities of individuals, and where they can go for more help.

The GA said she hoped the guide would help prevent instances where a party had to take on joint and other debts unfairly.

“Separating couples may not understand that consumer credit law options can be helpful when it comes to settling debts in family law litigation.

“This guide brings together relevant information for users,” said Senator Cash.

The ministers added that the government provided the guide as part of its continued commitment to support the safety and well-being of women in their homes, communities, workplaces and online. Its development was also guided by the project to prevent financial exploitation within the framework of the Fourth Action Plan of the National Plan for Reducing Violence Against Women and Their Children 2010-2022.


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