There’s a lot of pressure when people get divorced and many find it to be a distressing time. To make the process of separating from your spouse a little easier for you, we have created a list of who you need to inform that you are getting a divorce.
If you have a joint account you may need to talk to your bank or building society. Similarly, if you share any other accounts with your ex you should contact the financial institution where you hold the account. Think about any credit cards, outstanding hire purchases, loans or direct debits and standing order payments you might have.
Be aware that a bank or financial institution might freeze an account when notified of a divorce. This would have the effect of stopping direct debits and standing orders being paid, which could cause problems with payees such as utility providers.
It’s best to agree with your spouse on who will pay which household and other bills. Alternatively, you can agree that the spouse who has left the property will pay a fixed monthly amount to the one remaining in the property who must then transfer all the direct debits into their sole name.
Sorting out your mortgage arrangements is an important step. You may want to stop contributing to any joint assets.
For many people, their largest asset (and expense) is their home. If you decide to leave the family home, it may make sense to review your mortgage arrangements.
You might not wish to contribute to the mortgage if you are no longer living in the property but, so long as you own a share in the property, it would be in your interest to contribute or ensure the mortgage is fully paid. This is to avoid getting a bad credit rating, which you can get for any mortgage default, and to prevent the mortgage foreclosing and the mortgage provider selling the property.
Tax Office - HMRC
You’ll need to contact HM Revenue and Customs if you are getting a divorce because it will affect your taxes. Everyone should notify HMRC about relationship or family changes. You should contact them about your divorce or separation straight away so you can avoid paying too much tax.
The council tax you pay is likely to change upon divorce, especially if your living arrangements have changed. If you are the sole adult living in a property, you should be eligible for a 25 per cent sole occupancy council tax reduction. Ask your local council about this.
If you are moving home then you might want to instruct the Post Office to redirect your mail.
You should notify your Jobcentre Plus if either you or your partner receives benefits. If you receive Housing Benefit you should contact your local authority. If you receive Attendance Allowance, Carer’s Allowance or Disability Living Allowance you should contact the Disability and Carer’s Service, part of the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). If you receive Tax Credits or need to apply for them upon your separation you should contact the Tax Credits office.
Contact your water, gas and electricity companies as well as your broadband or telephone supplier if the person named on the bill is changing. Also, remember to change the address details on your television licence if that has altered since your separation.
You will need to notify all your insurance companies for things such as cars moved to a different address, contents you have removed from the former family home and life insurance.
Driving Licence - DVLA
You should contact the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency after you have divorced if you change your name. In addition to sending the DVLA a change in personal details form and your old driving licence to be replaced you should remember you need to update your car’s registration certificate with your new name.
In order to revert to your maiden name on your passport, you will need to send off a passport application form. You will also need to sign a statement saying that you have gone back to using your maiden name for all purposes and send additional documents. These will include your marriage certificate, your decree absolute and your birth certificate.
Slater and Gordon Lawyers have written a guide to help people get through a divorce or relationship breakdown. You can take advantage of our expert knowledge and find out how the legal process works by purchasing a copy of Family Law Made Simple.
If you need to speak with a divorce lawyer call us on 0800 916 9055 or contact us online and we’ll call you back at a time that suits you.