Divorce is never pleasant but it’s natural to think about your finances and how to protect your wealth. If you are going through a divorce, here are five things to consider to ensure you have a stable financial future ahead.
The Family Home
While you are married, you can still live in your family home. If the home is owned by your partner, then you can register your interest and a legal document will be provided that informs banks and the land registry that you have home rights. If you fail to register, your partner could sell the home and request you leave.
If the property is jointly owned, then there is no need to register. It also means that it is not possible to sell or remortgage the property while both parties are responsible for the whole mortgage. We also advise you contact the lender to explore your repayment options.
What About Paying Bills?
This will depend on who’s name is on the account and which one of you is moving out. Therefore, you should make a list of all bills and who pays them. If one of you or both of you are moving out, then it’s important to take gas and electricity meter readings. You might need to contact the utility provider if both names are on the account while you will both be responsible for paying all bills until all details have been changed. If your partner is moving out and their name is on the account, the account will need to be closed and a new one must be opened in your name.
Separating Finances During a Divorce
Your finances might also be linked and if so, then you will need to contact the bank, lender or building society as soon as you can. Until this is done, you can both freely withdraw money and are both responsible for all outstanding debt (not half of the balance).
If you have a joint account, you should also request that your bank changes how your account is setup so that both of you have to agree to any money being withdrawn or to freezing or unfreezing the account.
You’ll need to ensure that you don’t need access to the money in your account as an uncooperative partner might not be willing to unfreeze the account. If you decide to freeze the account, then you will both need to agree to do this and any outstanding debt will need to be paid off.
Does Getting A Divorce Cut Your Financial Ties?
No, because you’ll still be financially associated even after you have separated unless a request is made for a notice of disassociation. Your credit report will always show that you have been financially associated with someone and this can include any mortgages, credit cards or joint accounts.
Once all matrimonial assets have been split, you will need to apply for a notice of disassociation. This will ensure that there is no link between your credit and your ex-partner. If you don’t put disassociation in place, then any debt that arises on a joint account or if an ex doesn’t pay bills, your credit score will be impacted by their activity.
The Value of Your Assets
Dividing your assets comes at a later stage but it is advisable that you determine the value of everything as soon as you can. It’s not worth guessing so we suggest you get your assets professionally valued. This can include jewellery, vehicles, property, amongst other things.
Divorce is very rarely simple, especially when it comes to finances. However, there are ways to protect your finances and reduce risk. When you do this, you’ll be able to come out the other side in a much better position.
If you are considering divorce or might be in the midst of one, contact us today to help you get a handle of your finances. We offer a FREE, no obligation, initial consultation so one of our financial advisers can answer any questions and guide you through the whole process.
Capital at risk.