Not sure where to turn? There are lots of different places to get help when a relationship ends. Talking to a relationship counsellor or joining a local support group are both good places to start. It’s also worth remembering that your family and close friends will also be affected and need time to adjust. Relate, the UKs leading relationship support organisation, provides advice and counseling online, over the phone and face-to-face.
Divorce or Separation
Practical information to help you sort out your financesRead about dividing assets
Breaking up is never easy. It can be messy, costly and heartbreakingly painful. It’s difficult to know where to start when sorting out your finances at this time, so we’ve put together this list to make things a little bit easier.
Gather all your financial documents – statements for mortgages, bank accounts, loans, investments etc. Everything is likely to be read and analysed, so make sure you look through it all first so you have an accurate picture of your finances. You could start by listing an accurate breakdown of your income and outgoings, and creating a new household budget.
If you have a joint current account, loan, credit card or investment with your ex, don’t ignore it. Contact your bank, credit card company or other provider to explain what has happened. You can ask them to freeze your joint accounts to stop your ex-partner running up any new debts or withdrawing money without you knowing. Just make sure any joint bills can still be paid for using Direct Debit or standing order.
Make a new will if you need to, or update your existing one to remove your ex. Don’t think you’ll get around to it later because you’ll probably just keep putting it off. If either one of you meet someone new, things could be very complicated further down the track if your will is out of date.
No longer living together? Get your contents insurance sorted. And don’t forget about updating your life insurance policy. Your ex is probably named as the person who the payout would be made to if you died. Depending on your situation you may want to get it updated.
Speak to your mortgage lender as soon as possible and they’ll tell you what you need to do. You and your ex will need to decide what you want to do in the future, for example, if one of you can afford to stay in the property as the family home. Just make sure you keep on top of your repayments while you try and decide what. If you don’t it could impact on your credit rating and cause you both problems in the future. For more help, see the Money Advice Service’s guide to sorting out a mortgage during separation or divorce.
Think about how you’ll split what you own. Dividing up your property and financial assets can be a difficult, emotional, and potentially very expensive. Remember, 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 look over the proposed terms. If you can’t agree, mediators or solicitors might help. If not, you might need to make application to the court and the court will decide on what it considers to be a fair split.
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