Recently Separated: Financial Checklist
When you separate from a live-in partner it is not only your emotions that take a battering. When you have been used to surviving on two incomes, your finance will take a large hit too. You may feel like you won’t be able to cope on your own but follow our financial checklist to get you to a place where you are in control of your money.
1.Understanding your FinancesBefore you separate form your partner you need to understand your finances. You should ideally do this already but many people, women especially, hand over control and don’t know exactly what is going on. Have a look at your income, expenses, savings and debts so you know what your overall situation looks like.
2. Separating AssetsIf you have any joint assets such as a house, car or savings then you will need to find a way to split them when you separate. You can do this between yourselves but it is usually better to get a lawyer involved. Remember that if you are not married and your name is not on the papers then even if you have contributing towards the mortgage, you are not entitled to any of the house.
3.Managing DebtsYou need to take a look at your debts, whether joint or individual, and work out how you are going to manage them. If they are joint then you need to find a fair way of splitting them and make sure that you are not lumbered with them.
4.Check your CreditYour credit rating is used by companies when they are deciding whether to give you things such as loans or credit cards. If you haven’t had your own accounts or your partner had bad credit then you need to work on building your score back up.
5.Create a BudgetNow you will not be living with your partner your income and expenses are going to change dramatically. You need to look realistically at what your outgoings will be and how much you can afford. Take into account, bills, food, entertainment and everyday spending.
6.Get the Help you NeedIf it all seems too overwhelming or you are unsure how you are going to afford the split, then there is help available. If you have children then your partner will need to pay child support and you also may be entitled to other benefits.
When you are going through a separation, the financial impact only adds to the feeling of loss and loneliness. However, it is something that you cannot ignore and you need to get practical steps to get on top of your money. Make sure you understand what your situation is and how you are going to split any assets. Also look at any debts you have and increasing your credit score so that you have the best start. Once you are out on your own you need to create a budget and manage your money effectively and look at what benefits or help are available to you.