Date last updated: 20 October 2017

Money after separation

When you separate from a partner it’s important to work out a way to separate your finances fairly for the future. Support is available to help you build a new financial life for you and your family.

If you want more in-depth help with money issues, there are a few different resources on our site that can help.

Financial abuse

It’s important to know about financial abuse and protect you and your child from it. Financial abuse is when someone controls your money or puts debts in your name. Find out more about financial abuse from the Money advice service and what to do if it’s happening to you or if you’re worried you could be affected.

Useful resources

The Money Advice Service has lots of useful information about money during divorce and separation, including a divorce and money calculator and advice on what to do about problem debts.

Child maintenance

Child maintenance is very important for children in separated families. The amount due for each child will depend on who they live with and how many nights they spend with their other parent, as well as their other parent’s finances. Find out about child maintenance – how to arrange it, what to do if you can’t agree and the different schemes that are available.

Benefits and tax credits

Make sure you check your entitlement to tax credits and benefits, whether you’ve claimed before or not. You can also see our housing options factsheet to find out if you can get help with your rent, council tax, mortgage and service charges.

For help with a benefit and tax credits calculations, or if your situation is too complex to work out on your own, our helpline is here to help.

If you are working 16 hours or more a week

If your child is under 5

If you are unemployed

You may be enable to claim jobseekers allowance.

If you have a health condition or a disability

See if you’re entitled to employment and support allowance.

Tips from single parents

Check if you can get extra financial help

When you change from a single benefit claim to a joint claim things change and you can get more help sometimes. I got help to pay for nursery fees – they paid 70%. If I didn’t have help with that, I wouldn't have been able to work. And a lot of people don’t know about those things.

Mum, 3 children aged 1, 5 and 10

Try the Turn2Us calculator to work out your benefits

I want to work and if I thought I might get a job, then I need to be ahead and work out my benefits. If I know everything’s in place that makes me feel organised and structured. I go on the Turn2Us calculator to get a rough estimate of money when I'm going back into work – you can see what you’re entitled. It’s really beneficial.

Mum, 1 child aged 4

Let the right people know about your split

When you separate, you have to inform everybody for benefits. I got on and told all the different places – housing benefit, council tax. The process was easy.

Mum, 3 children aged 1, 5 and 10

Try to face up to money problems

It's no use trying to avoid money problems by not seeing it in black and white; always open bills, bank statements, etc., so you know what's happening. If you’re struggling to pay bills you could go to your local free advice centre for help.

Single mum

Try a credit union

If you have one in your area, you could try joining a credit union. It helps to save and they have good interest rates for kids. And if you do need a loan they are often the cheapest, safest option.

Single mum

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