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Divorce and your finances

Divorce and your finances

The end of a relationship can be a painful, frustrating time and if you have made the decision to divorce or separate, finances may be the last thing on your mind. Equally, the thought of having to deal with money matters at such a time will be inconceivable and, at worst, feel completely inconsequential.

Thoughts of selling the family home, living on a reduced budget, meeting legal costs and ensuring the kids don’t go without can be overwhelming, but reorganising your finances at such a time is an essential step into your life beyond divorce.

We’ve got some invaluable tips for dealing with your finances when your marriage comes to an end.

Work out if you’ll need professional help

If your financial position is relatively uncomplicated, you should be able to get by without professional help. Below, we’ve listed the signs you should look out for when assessing whether or not your separation will be complicated:

  • One or both of you own a business
  • There is a disagreement that divorce is the right way forward
  • You have children who still depend on you financially
  • The house you own is solely in either your or your partner’s name (i.e. one of you has more assets than the other)
  • You depend financially on your partner or vice-versa
  • One of you has quit employment in order to care for your children which has in turn reduced your ability to earn a living

Do’s and don’ts of divorce

Your separation might be amicable but if there is any degree of tension, your financial situation will likely suffer as a result. There are some valuable ‘dos and don’ts’ for such situations:

Do…

  • Try and stay on speaking terms and agree as much as you can with your ex-partner. Doing so will save you time and money when it comes to legal costs
  • Attempt to reach an agreement about who will pay the bills in the short term
  • Keep an open mind. Whatever you or your partner think is ‘fair’ may not be deemed the case in a court of law. Money and assets can be divided in a variety of ways and not always in the manner you may expect

Don’t…

  • Look for short term gain. Avoid making decisions which work for you immediately but which could become a problem for you both further down the line
  • Make emotionally-charged decisions. Running up debts on joint accounts or freezing access to funds may feel like the right thing to do, but it will backfire if you end up having to take your divorce through the courts
  • Ignore bills. Divorce is a torrid time, but life must go on – keep up with your repayments to avoid further complication

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