Find answers to some of the more frequently asked questions on the Forums.

Forums guidelines

Our guidelines keep the Forums a safe place for people to share and learn information.

Marriage breakdown with joint loans

Community Member
When your marriage feels like it is breaking down; how do you free yourself from the finanical straps that are holding you there? Basically I would like to seperate for a while from my husband, who is sleeping separately from me anyway - in a different thread - and I am not coping very well and would like to rent somewhere but because everything is either in my name or both I feel trapped.
16 Replies 16

Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hi Shyone and welcome 🙂

I'm so sorry to hear your having problems with your marriage. It can be a emotionally and physically draining time. I've been down this myself and found I started to make headway once I sat down with a solicitor and gave them control of my situation. Have you considered this option? Perhaps the shock of a legal intervention maybe the jump start your marriage needs?

You can try talking to your accountant. If you don't have one, a good financial consultant, however, I fear they'll tell you that you'll need to involved the legal eagles at some stage in order to gain your financial independence.

Come back to me with your thoughts..

Looking forward to hearing from you


Community Member

This happened to me with the breakdown of my marriage. The first thing I did it collect as much information as I could. I phoned centrelink, I rang a helpline, I spoke to a solicitor and to charaties that offered help that I knew I'd need. Once I had the information I needed I felt better and less trapped. In relation to joint loans, call the bank - as them about each loan and who the responsibility falls on (i.e. both of you together, either of you) just so you know where you stand.

I understand how you feel - but there is help out there and once you realise where to get the help that you need you will feel more able to leave.

Virtual hug!

Great one Busymum, love your words.

I'm so happy things turned out alright for you in the end. Being a single parent is a daunting prospect for anyone, male or female. Been there, done that.

I always say, there's a silver lining to every dark cloud, you just need to know where to look.

Wishing you the very best for your future.

Rumples xo

Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hello Shyone, I'm sorry that you have been put into a position like this, but when it happened to me, I went to Anglicare who could stop all those creditors that were owed money until an arrangement could be made to obtain a divorce and then sell the house.

Can I ask whether you are purchasing the house/flat or renting, because you may be able to get out of a rental property.

Best wishes.


Community Member

Hi Shyone

You’ve been given some very sound advice by your responders, who have been in a similar situation to you. I too was in your position many years ago and I don’t have anything new to add, so I’ll just back up their advice.

Like Geoff, I also used Anglicare services. They were very cheap, kind and supportive. I still get teary remembering my first meeting. They deal with this kind of thing everyday. This would be my first port of call.

Your mind is full of doubts, confusion and fear. Right? Rumples suggested sitting down with a solicitor and I fully agree. That’s what I did and I immediately felt the weight lift slightly off my shoulders. Check the Law Society of your state and select one with solid Family Law experience or Anglicare may be able to guide you towards appropriate legal services.

Be guided by them, don’t do anything without their approval. There can be no half measures in marital separation, as painful as it is. It may seem like an extreme step but I found that in my case, half steps were an invitation for my spouse to muck me around, make me feel guilty and drag me back into my distressed state.

As Busymum has said, it’s all about preparation. Once you have set the proper foundation to make your move, your confusion and fear will subside a little. It will still be difficult with tears and arguments but don’t do it alone.

Community Member


If you are wanting to separate officially, go and get some legal advice from a lawyer. There are many lawyer's out there that will offer a free 30-60 minute first consultation with no strings attached.

The general legal advice is that the person remaining in the house takes on the financial responsibility for the house while separated; mortgage, rates, insurance etc... This is because the spouse that move out has to cover the cost of a rental. I'm not sure what happens with the two children; that is something you need to talk to the lawyer about. I would assume they remain a joint responsibility.

That being said, if your husband defaults on the mortgage while separated, the bank will come after you if your name is on the mortgage.

Rumples may be correct; the financial reality of a separation may just be the kick in the pants that your husband needs to address your issues.

I hope this helps.

Community Member
Hi everyone,
Thank you for all for the great advice.
I didn't want to go down the road of a solicitor just yet. I just want out, to be alone at the moment to see if I could clear things up in my head to what I actually want to do.
As hard as this is, I wanted to leave the kids with him in the house but financially I know he can't afford it without my wage.
He has his time away to think but I am always left with the kids and I also need space to think. I suppose I am wanting a miracle of an easy solution - and that's not gonna happen.
Thanks again

Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hi Shyone and thank you for coming back to us.

OK, now that the legal option is off the table. Have you got a close friend, family, church member (if you're religious) you can sit down with and discuss this? I know it might feel a bit embarrassing (been there), however, quite often an outside perspective sees clearer than you in the middle of it all. If you have a good relationship with your GP, talk to them as they can help.

The first thing I think you need to decide is - "am I working towards saving or ending this marriage". Once you've identified the end result you're looking to achieve, you now have a starting and ending point to work with. Unless you know your final destination, it's a bit hard to plan on how to get there. If that makes sense.

I'd encourage you to keep coming back and chatting with us here in the forum. You've got everything to gain and nothing to lose by doing so.

Looking forward to hearing back from you

Your friend - Rumples xo

Community Member
Hi Rumples,
No I have nobody to talk to. No family. No friends. No religion. Gp on maternity leave.
I want to save this marriage but there are times that I can't take anymore and want to leave, you know the good old emotional rollercoaster.
I switch from anger to sadness to loving. He sees the only difference to our lives at the moment is that we are sleeping separately - his words "everything else is the same". I still wash, cook, clean, make coffee, stay with the boys while he takes a drive "to clear his head"