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New resource for separating couples dealing with debt

Media Release

Attorney-General
Minister for Industrial Relations
Deputy Leader of the Government in the Senate
Senator for Western Australia
Senator the Hon Michaelia Cash

Minister for Foreign Affairs
Minister for Women
Senator for New South Wales
Senator the Hon Marise Payne

Joint Media Release

A new resource is now available to help separating couples fairly resolve responsibility for joint and other debts. 

The resource, Separating with debt: a guide to your legal options is available online and provides clear, practical information and options to manage debts during and after separation.

Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Women, Senator the Hon Marise Payne, said debts can be one of the most difficult financial issues to resolve when separating, especially where there is financial abuse and family violence.

“One party, often the woman, may assume sole responsibility for joint and other debts due to a fear of credit default, bankruptcy, harassment from collection agencies or eviction,” the Minister for Women said.

Attorney-General, Michaelia Cash said the guide would assist to avoid situations where one party is left unfairly shouldering the burden of joint and other debts.

The guide brings together family law and consumer credit law information, options and referral points to support separating couples achieve fair, enforceable arrangements about their debts so they can move on with their lives.

“Separating couples may not understand that consumer credit law options can assist when dealing with debts as part of a family law property dispute. This guide puts relevant information together for users”, the Attorney-General explained.

The guide is a commitment under the Women’s Economic Security Statement 2020 and the Preventing Financial Abuse Project under the Fourth Action Plan of the National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children 2010-2022. It reflects the Government’s ongoing commitment to supporting women’s safety and wellbeing in their homes, communities, workplaces and online.

Separating with debt: a guide to your legal options is available on the Attorney-General Department’s website