Does Divorce Affect My Will?

Short Answer – It sure does.

Separation and divorce each have a different impact on your Will.

Separation takes place once your marriage has broken down irretrievably, but you are not necessarily divorced at that time. Even if you are separated from your spouse you are still legally married to your spouse until a divorce is granted.

A divorce is granted by the Family Court of Australia. A divorce becomes final one month and one day after it is granted. Once your divorce becomes final, then your marriage will be dissolved and it is then at an end.

Separation does not have an effect on your Will so keep in mind that if you separate from your spouse and die before you get divorced, then your estate will be distributed according to your current Will.

This means that your estate might go to your spouse (subject to any claim made under the Family Provisions) unless you have changed your Will.

If you have a new partner and children from your marriage then you owe it to them to get it right.

If you haven’t changed and don’t change your Will following separation, then it is highly likely that your spouse will be the Executor of your Will and most likely be the sole beneficiary of your Will.

This most probably will not be how you want your Will to be.

So, if you find yourself in the unfortunate position of being separated, then don’t just sit there – your Will won’t fix itself.  Get legal advice from a skilled lawyer who works in the field of Wills and deceased estates.