Divorce and your finances
Going through a separation or divorce can be distressing and we appreciate you may not know where to start. So, to help you take those first steps into looking at your finances, we’ve put together some tips that may make things a little easier.
Pull together all documentation and statements for your individual and joint accounts and household spending. For example:
- Utilities (gas, electric, water, rates/council tax and so on)
- Bank account(s)
- Investment(s) and savings
- Insurance (house, contents, motor, pet, phone and so on)
- Life assurance and health and/or income protection
- Credit agreements (store card, credit card, hire purchase and so on)
- Club memberships
Make sure you review everything so you have an accurate picture of where you are with your money. Make a list of all your income and outgoings to create a new household budget once the divorce has been finalised.
Update your Will
If you’d like to leave your money or assets to someone else, you’ll need to update your Will. If you’re not sure what to do, speak to your local citizen’s advice for free and independent advice.
Sort out your mortgage
Speak to your mortgage lender as soon as possible. If you have a joint mortgage, you and your former spouse will need to decide what you want to do. For example, if one of you can afford to stay in the property and keep up the mortgage repayments or whether the property is to be sold. In the meantime, please make sure the mortgage repayments are kept up to date. For more help, see the Money Advice Service’s guide to sorting out a mortgage during separation or divorce.
Separate your joint accounts
If you have any joint accounts, contact your financial services providers right away to explain your position. They can give you useful information about how to manage or protect any account balances. They’ll be able to tell you how to make sure all essential bills are paid by direct debit or standing order.
Update your insurance and life assurance
Contact your insurance and life assurance provider(s) to tell them about your change in circumstances. They will be able to give you useful information about how your policies can be managed or cancelled.
Consider your assets
Dividing your property and financial assets can be difficult. The law is different for married couples and couples who live together. Even if you can easily agree how to share things out, it’s a good idea to get an experienced Solicitor to help you. If you can’t agree, Mediators or Solicitors might be able to help or you might need to make an application to the Court for a decision on what it considers to be a fair outcome.
We've put together these useful links to help you find the support you need when dealing with divorce or separation:
- Counselling, support and information for all relationships: Relate
- Help and support for separated families: Sorting out separation
- How to manage your money and divide what you own: Money Advice Service
- Government advice on the legal side of divorce: Gov.uk
- Find a lawyer who specialises in family law: The Law Society of Northern Ireland or Resolution or The Law Society in England & Wales
- Support for single parents: GingerbreadNI