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Divorce, separation and debt

Going through a separation or divorce can be stressful and often means your financial situation is affected.

Any joint debts you have with your partner will have 'joint and several liability'. This means that, if your partner can’t make payment to the debt, you will need to repay the full amount.

If you don’t have any joint debts you can get a ‘notice of disassociation’. This removes any financial link with your ex-partner on your credit file. To do this you need to contact one of the credit reference agencies who can remove this link.

Do you need help with debt after divorce or separation?

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Dealing with housing and income

If you’re renting a property you’ll need to inform the landlord that the tenancy agreement needs to be transferred into your name only.

If you have a joint mortgage with your ex partner, it's recommended that you get legal advice before deciding what will happen to your property.

If your separation means you’re now the only adult in the property, make sure you tell your local council as you’ll be entitled to a 25% discount on your council tax.

Separation will usually affect your income and living arrangements. This could mean that your benefit entitlement changes. You can use a free benefits calculator to find out what benefits you can claim and the amounts you’re likely to receive.

Your children and divorce

Separation can be hard on children. The Child Maintenance Options website has a variety of tools and guides to help you and your children deal with the seperation. 

You and your ex-partner will also need to arrange child maintenance. Whenever possible it’s always better to try and arrange a family-based agreement. Find out more about the benefits of a family-based arrangement on our child maintenance arrears page.

Divorce help and advice

Divorce Aid are an independent organisation of professionals who can provide divorce advice to anyone in the UK.

Separation often means your household income will reduce dramatically, so you may be struggling to manage your household bills along with any debts you have.

We can help you through this difficult time

If need debt advice or information on dealing with your debts, you can use our online Debt Remedy tool. This can provide you with advice and a debt solution that are tailored to your situation. You can also call our free Helpline to speak to one of our expert advisors.

Helping you become debt free...

“I wish to thank your staff for all the great help they gave me when I was in so much debt.
They were a pillar of support to me.” (Leslie, Essex)

Foundation for Credit Counselling Wade House, Merrion Centre, Leeds, LS2 8NG trading as StepChange Debt Charity and StepChange Debt Charity Scotland. A registered charity no.1016630 and SC046263. It is a limited company registered in England and Wales (company no:2757055). Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

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© StepChange Debt Charity 2018