Dealing with your finances when becoming a single parent
If you have recently become a single parent then sorting out your finances will be a high priority for you. If you are currently financially dependent on your partner, be aware that you may need to manage for months without income from them until you get your benefits claim sorted out.
Get control of your finances
You could start by making a budget plan of all your income and outgoings to better understand what money you have. You could use the Money Advice Service Divorce and Separation calculator to help you draw up a budget and work out what you owe. Open your own new bank account that only you have access to.
Benefits and tax credits
Separating from your partner may mean that you become entitled to new benefits and tax credits or higher amounts of benefits you already receive, check using the Benefits Calculator. Inform Jobcentre Plus about your change in circumstances straight away, to avoid being overpaid or losing out on money.
Dealing with joint assets, bills and money
It is important to deal with joint bank accounts or credit cards quickly. You may need to take swift action to prevent your ex-partner from emptying a joint account or putting lots of purchases on a card that you are liable for. Contact the bank straight away to inform them.
If a bill or mortgage is in joint names, you are ‘jointly and severally’ responsible for it. This means that either one of you can be asked to pay back the full amount owed. Contact the organisation in question and let them know, and ask where you should go for further advice. Our Life Check Tool may be useful.