Protecting your finances during divorce
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Going through a divorce is seldom a pain-free experience, even if the people involved are parting on friendly terms. It’s also one in which many aspects are to be negotiated. One of the most important of these comes down to finances and this is particularly difficult if the divorce is proving to be an acrimonious one. In this case, it’s not uncommon for one or other partner to make financial decisions or actions that can adversely affect the other. Here is some information about what you can do if you think that you may be a victim of this.
Protecting where you live
If the place where you live is owned solely by your ex-partner there may be a risk that they might try to sell or remortgage it. If you think that this may be a danger, it is important to register your interest to make sure that this cannot be done.
As long as the property is registered at the Land Registry, you can apply for something called a matrimonial home rights notice or home rights notice. You can check whether it is registered at the gov.uk website by filling an HR1. Even if it’s not registered, you can still protect your family home by applying for a Class F Land Charge.
Once you have registered your interest in, either way, your partner will not be able to sell or remortgage without you being informed.
Speak to your mortgage lender
If your mortgage is in joint names you are both equally responsible for ensuring the full mortgage repayment is made each month. So it would be a good idea to let your lender know that you are going through a divorce and discuss how you can guarantee that payments will continue to be made. Then, if your ex-partner does stop making their contribution, you will be in a better position to negotiate with the lender.
Speak to your landlord
If your home is rented, then have a word with your landlord, especially if the tenancy agreement is in joint names. You may be able to alter it to be in just your or your ex-partner’s name so one of you can continue to live thereafter you have legally parted.
Contact providers of joint bank and credit card accounts
If you have any joint accounts, it’s vital to let the bank or credit card providers know, as well as any other loan providers.
Make an arrangement so you both need to agree on withdrawals of money or expenditure on credit cards and retain the right to “freeze” accounts if you ever think it’s necessary. But remember that it will need permission from both joint account holders to unfreeze any accounts.
It’s also a good idea to ensure that your wages are paid into an account that is solely in your name.
Many people have a second credit card for their partners, but you are both liable for repayments. So if this includes you, you should ask for it to be destroyed or returned to you.
Protecting other assets
It may be that you have other assets such as savings, property or investments. If you think there may be a danger of your ex-partner selling, transferring or otherwise disposing of any of these, you can apply to the court to prevent this from happening. This is a complex area so you will need legal advice.
At Eatons, we are highly experienced in this field with a number of specialists in all areas of divorce and family law. To benefit from our services simply contact your nearest Eatons office or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will get back to you as soon as possible to take things further.
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