Separation and Divorce

Ending a relationship can be a very emotional and traumatic time which will bring changes in your life. It is always important to seek help, both legal and personal in order to cope with any difficulties which may arise. There may also be some financial issues which need to be sorted out between the couple.

You may wish to start with the following;

    • Note down date of separation and other important events. One must remember that for a couple to obtain divorce they would need to be separated for at least 4 years.

    • Always seek legal advice: Speak to a lawyer in order to:

      • Freeze any joint accounts and investments;

      • Check on any property held in joint names (such as buildings and life insurance policies);

      • Legal action may need to be considered with regard to joint property in order to avoid future problems; and

      • Consider updating your will.

    • Always talk to your bank in order to establish what needs to be done regarding your joint accounts, mortgages and any other joint investments. If you have an insurance policy, you need to talk to the insurance company as well. For example, if you have a motor insurance policy, you need to talk to the insurance company in regards to your Non-Claims Discount. If you have a life policy, you also need to evaluate how proceeds will be distributed.

If your partner was the one who took care of the money, find out how things were organized and see if you want to make any changes in order to better manage your money and other assets. You can start by setting up a budget using our online budget tool. In addition, check how payments of your insurance policies are being made. If payments for a life policy are stopped, for example, it is likely that your policy would lapse and any life cover put in jeopardy.

In addition, make sure that your bank(s), investment firm(s) and insurance company(ies) have updated records (especially addresses) and are aware of your situation.

If you and your partner are separating and have children, you’ll have to agree on arrangements for their care. There are a number of government agencies which may assist you with this matter especially since family breakdown can be a difficult time for children. With regard to the financial arrangements and childcare, you would need to discuss it with your lawyer, always keeping the children’s best interest in mind.

Getting on top of your finances can be testing any time. This is especially true if you are dealing with a relationship breakup. Taking everything step by step should assist you to in gaining your confidence to better deal with your new reality.