"What practical steps do I need to take if I am separating?"
One of your biggest considerations will be the family home. You will need to establish:
- Who owns the property?
- Does one of you want to keep the property? If so, and you have a joint mortgage, can the other person be bought out and/or released from the mortgage? You may need financial advice before deciding if this is an option
- If neither of you can afford to stay in the property (or want to), how are you going to arrange for it to be sold?
- Is there any dispute about who owns the property? Could dispute resolution be the answer?
- Do you need to change your will?
- Do you have joint bank accounts? These may need to be closed or one person’s name removed from the account.
- Is there any risk that your ex could run up joint debt without your consent? Think about any joint overdrafts or credit cards. If there is a risk that your ex will spend joint money without your knowledge or consent, you may want to cancel any credit cards once the balance has been cleared. Ask the bank to freeze accounts or require a joint mandate to stop this from happening.
- Whose name is on the bills? You may need to contact your providers to transfer any accounts into your name (or remove your name from any accounts).
- Have you moved? You will need to notify people of your change of address and new contact details including:
- Banks and investment providers
- Insurance companies
- Pension companies
- DVLA – you could be fined up to £1,000 by the DVLA if you don’t!
- HMRC and any other government agencies if you receive benefits
- Utility providers
- Television licence
- Mobile phone provider
- Doctors, dentists and any other health professionals
- The Post Office to redirect any mail
Are you now the only adult in the house? Notify the council and you may be entitled to a discount on your council tax and other state benefits.
Expert legal advice
For more information or an informal chat about your next steps, contact us on 0344 326 0450 or email us.