Whether you were the one who decided to separate or not it is important to establish whether you can financially survive separation. Here are some important financial considerations to consider:
- You need to ensure that you have a bank account and if necessary a credit card in your own name (not just a supplementary card). You also need your own email address – not one linked to your ex.
- You will need copies of documents to show what assets and liabilities you have (jointly and on your own – and what your ex has if you have those documents) as well as what financial contributions were made during the relationship. You should gather copies of those documents – or save them to a secure device.
- Do a budget and start thinking about what your priorities are as far as spending is concerned.
- The household expenses of a couple and two children is not actually that much different to that of one parent and two children – even when the kids spend time with each of you. This is because some of the biggest expenses such as rent/mortgage are fixed no matter how many people are there.
- If children are involved you may be eligible to receive child support – or you may need to pay child support. The Child Support Agency has a useful calculator to help you work out what you may receive/pay. It is important to note that child support only applies to children under the age of 18 (or until they finish secondary school). It is also important to note that child support is not fixed – life events, such as change of employment, can vary the amount received/paid.
- Also think about long term financial planning – in particular setting yourself up for retirement. Obtaining good financial advice goes hand in hand with good legal advice. Such advice should at least be obtained prior to finalising any property division – so that it can be best structured for long term planning.
- You should review your estate planning documents.