When you decide to separate from your partner, there will be things you need to work out.
The partner your separating from could be your civil partner, wife, or husband, even if you’re not choosing to end your marriage or civil partnership straightaway. You need to have been married at least a year before you can end it.
It may also be a partner that you live with or have children with, but you live as if you are married.
Some of the things you may need to work out include:
- Where your children will live and how often they will see each parent.
- How to divide any money
- How to divide any belongings
- Whether you can both afford to pay the bills once you have split
You shouldn’t feel pressured to make any decisions as they may not be right for you. You will have more chance of making good joint decisions if you wait until you are ready to talk.
Agreeing Your Arrangements
You don’t really need to go to court to decide what to do if you separate unless you can’t get on with each to make an agreement.
It can be much cheaper and often quicker if you can come to an arrangement yourselves.
Some other thing you should consider include:
- Child maintenance – You are both responsible for the cost of looking after your children, therefore the parent who the children aren’t living with may need to pay child maintenance.
- Deciding what to do with your home- You need to come to an agreement between yourself a to what is happening with your home, is one of you going to stau in the home? Or are you going to sell? Or both move out and end the tenancy?
- Managing your money – You may be able to come to an agreement betwween yourself as to what happens to your finances, however, at times some people need legal help to sort out things like a pension sharing order.
Who Should You Inform That You Are Seperated
- If you pay council tax you need to let your local council know, you will pay less if you are living as a single person.
- You will also need to let your local council know if you get a council tax reduction to Housing Benefit.
- If you get other benefits your claim may change if one of you leave the couple, so tell the office the details when you have separated. There is normally a 30 day deadline.
If you are splitting from a long-term relationship it helps if you can already decide and agree on areas like :
What is going to happen to your children – whole will they live with, what will contact be, and how much is the other parent going to pay towards them?
What will happen to your finances?
What will happen to your property?
If you can’t come to an agreement, you may need to go to court so a judge can look at the facts and make a decision for you.