Going through a separation is never easy, but if you’ve been living together as a couple, but are not married, dividing up your joint assets is a lot more straightforward than you might think.
Unlike with marriage, there’s no formal process that you need to follow, and as long as you can agree on how you’re going to approach and deal with your joint finances and possessions, you’ll be able to organise things fairly easily.
Key Points to Consider Before Dealing with Your Joint Finances
Before you get started on splitting up your assets, there are some vital points you should keep in mind to avoid any confusion down the line.
1. Get Everything in Writing
You may have once had a trusting relationship but managing finances during a separation can be tricky, especially if your ex-partner is being difficult.
2. Decide Who Will Be Moving Out
If you live together, you’ll need to decide who remains in the home and who moves out. By law, if you own a property together, you will need to both keep up with the mortgage repayments. If you’re renting the person on the tenancy agreement should remain at the property. Based on these factors, it may help towards who will take care of which bills.
3. Draw up an Agreement, if Necessary
If you’re finding that your ex-partner is being difficult or you’re not agreeing on how to deal with things, you can also take mediation to help you reach an agreement. This is also an option if your partner handled the finances in your relationship.
To keep everything as civil as possible, you can also use a solicitor to draw up an agreement about how your finances will be split. This will help to protect you if your ex-partner stops making payments towards your outstanding bill repayments. However, if you’re legally married, your loan or finance provider will still look to you to make the repayments.
Consider the Joint Finances That Will Need Organising
After separation, there are several things that you will need to organise before parting ways. These include:
- Any joint debts you have – usually, whoever owns the item gets to keep it but your ex-partner may be eligible to make a claim on your items too so it’s worth discussing first.
- Your possessions and how much they’re worth – if you’ve got joint possessions, find out how much these are worth, you may want to sell and split the costs or buy your partner out.
- How you would like to split or divide your belongings – figure out who will be paying which bills and loans.
- Try and figure out how to support your children, if applicable – you’ll need to equally split the costs so creating a new personal budget will help you to see where you stand.
Closing Your Joint Account
If you’re looking to close your joint account, you’ll need to decide between you what will need to be done about direct debits, standing orders and any subscriptions. You’ll either need to cancel them or move them to another banking account.
Tip💡: In some cases, you may need to contact the loan or finance provider to inform them of the change to your payment method, check your credit agreements to make sure.
If you have an overdraft, work out how you will pay this back. It will usually need to be done before you can close the account, but you can both set up a standing order to get this repaid in full.
Speak to your banking provider about your joint account, as they may have some useful ways on how you can make this process as simple as possible, including providing you with monthly updates and account alerts with your outstanding balance.