If your relationship has reached the end, it’s wise to think clearly about your future finances. Our money & allowances specialist, Claire Hallam, highlights some of the cash considerations…

You may be able to plan how you want to divide your finances and assets together, or you could try mediation to help you come to an agreement. If you can’t agree or the relationship is acrimonious, seek professional legal advice.

Managing your money

If you’re worried about how you can support yourself going forward and not sure what help or benefits you would be eligible for, then benefits calculators are a good starting point.

If you need help to pay bills or other costs while awaiting your claim, you may be able to get an advance of Universal Credit. Contact your local Jobcentre Plus for more information.

AFF has discovered that it’s not possible to claim the housing element of Universal Credit if you’ve separated from your soldier but are still living in your quarter after the 93 days’ notice to vacate has been given. We’ve raised this issue with the Department for Work and Pensions and are awaiting an outcome.

There’s more information on our website, do contact me if this affects you. MoneyForce also offers some good information on dividing the mortgage if you’re living in your own home.

Calculations for the kids

If you need to discuss how child maintenance will be paid, the online calculator at gov.uk gives you a starting point, and it will show you the amount the government would calculate for you. If you can’t agree, you could try mediation, or contact Child Maintenance Options for further advice – bear in mind that service fees may be added.

What about pensions?

Separating spouses often ask me if they can claim some of their soldier’s armed forces pension on divorce.

In order to split the pension fairly, the first step is to find out what the pension is worth. Your soldier can get a valuation and cash equivalent transfer value (CETV) from Veterans UK. It’s important this is settled before the divorce is finalised as it will be very difficult to access any of your spouse’s pension after you’ve received your decree absolute.

Each settlement is unique to each couple, so it’s best to seek legal advice from someone with specific knowledge such as The Law Society. Contact us If you find yourself in this situation and don’t know what to do next, we can help.

Get in touch with me at moneyallowances@aff.org.uk

Useful links

Separation and divorce pages – aff.org.uk

Child Maintenance Options – 0800 083 4375

The Law Societylawsociety.org.uk

Jobcentre Plusgov.uk

Turn 2 Usbenefits-calculator.turn2us.org.uk

MoneyForce – moneyforce.org.uk

Money Advice Servicemoneyadviceservice.org.uk

Forces Pensions Societyforcespensionsociety.org

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