Q: A few years back I went through a messy divorce. I had to take out a significant loan to pay out my ex-wife for our property settlement. I have finally paid it off and feel back to a secure financial position. Recently I met a woman I could see a future with but I am hesitant to get into a serious relationship as I do not want to jeopardise my financial safety again. My ex-wife and I share four kids between 16 and 23. I want to make sure that my children are protected if anything happens to me. What can I do to protect myself and my children?

If you separate after a marriage, civil union or de facto relationship that lasts more than three years your relationship property will be divided according to the Property (Relationships) Act 1976 (“the PRA”). Your relationship property will be divided equally between you and your new partner. According to the PRA your partner would also be entitled to claim half of the relationship property pool if you passed away.

It is common for people who have been through a difficult separation to be cautious when considering a new relationship. There are options available to protect your financial position if the relationship ends.

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