Date last updated: 8 January 2021
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.
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.
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
Check if you’re able to claim working tax credits and other benefits.
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
Get advice before it goes too far
My problems with rent were about 5 years ago. I got advice before it went too far and kept in contact with my landlord. I’m not the sort of person to be hiding behind the couch! That is how you get into financial difficulty.
Mum, 2 children, age 5 and 11
I'd send people to 'Entitledto' for benefits. Sometimes people need really specific things and then the Gingerbread helpline is good. I’ve never needed the helpline, my questions got sorted without that.
Mum, 1 child, age 9
Saving with homemade prezzies
We are doing a lot of homemade pressies this year. For example we’ve made chutney using discounted fruit and vegetables. We save empty jam and sauce jars, which my children decorate with stickers and ribbons. My eldest child is also having a go at making candles
Saving for Christmas
The best way to cope financially at Christmas, is to set up a post office account at the begining of the year and put a fiver in every week. It will take the load off the big spend!
Use comparison websites
Use comparison websites for utilities, mobile phone tariffs, etc., to get a good deal