Managing your finances
It may sound strange to think about having an ‘emotional relationship’ with something as practical as money, but it can actually be a highly effective way of understanding your feelings and behaviours.
As soon as it’s clear that you’re going to separate from your partner, there are important steps you may need to take to protect your finances. If your break-up is acrimonious, you may have to act quickly. Find out what you need to do.
If you’re getting divorced or dissolving your civil partnership you may have to act quickly to protect your finances – especially if the break-up is difficult and you are on bad terms. You may not need to take all the steps outlined below, but it’s important that you know your rights and responsibilities.
If you’ve been living together as a couple and then separate, you have fewer rights than couples who divorce or dissolve their civil partnership. Your break-up will be more straightforward if you can agree about the things you are dividing, such as your property, possessions and assets.
When you begin the process of divorce or dissolving your civil partnership, you might be wondering how much you’ll be able to sort out on your own – and whether you need a solicitor. This will depend on several things, including how easy you and your ex-partner find it to discuss financial issues.
If you decide to take your partner to court for a share of the home you’ve lived in or because you can’t agree how to divide joint assets or possessions, you will have to pay legal and other fees. If you can’t pay them from your savings or income, you may have to look at other options.
When you get divorced or dissolve your civil partnership, there will be costs to pay. Unless you qualify for state help, you and/or your husband, wife or civil partner will have to pay them. If you can’t pay them from your savings or income, you may have to look at other options.
Everyone has the right to financial independence. If your partner is controlling your money or running up debts in your name, it’s financial abuse. But there’s no need to struggle on alone. Here are some of the things you can do and where to go for help and support.
You may have debts with your ex-partner, or you may owe money in your own name. Money might be tight while you sort out your finances after you separate, but don’t ignore debt problems. The sooner you deal with them, the easier it will be.
If you and your partner are splitting up, it’s likely that you’ll have some joint finances, such as bank accounts or loans, to sort out. You may also have taken out insurance policies and have bills in both your names that you will need to cancel or transfer. Find out what you need to know and do.
You may get a lump sum as part of your financial settlement. If you haven’t already decided what you’ll use it for, think about your options carefully. Take professional advice if you’re unsure about what to do.
As part of your financial settlement, you may have received part of your ex-husband, wife or civil partner’s pensions. Or you may have given up a share of yours. Whatever your circumstances after you separate, and once you can afford to, it’s important to start or to build up your retirement savings.
If you remarry or form a new civil partnership, or live with a new partner, it’s likely to affect your finances. It should mean you spend less because you share household costs and it could also mean you open a joint bank account or take out a mortgage together. Find out the best way to arrange your finances.