Hi, seeing a solicitor next week to initiate first steps to a divorce, just wondering if anyone can help with some questions?
DH earns reasonable money but as a self employed contractor. His money goes into his business bank account and he just transfers money to cover expenses as needed into our joint current account. My salary (only about 700 a month) and child credits also go into that account. He has only just done his first years set of accounts, he has some money in his business account to pay his tax and VAT otherwise no surplus really.
Our house is rented. We have no other assets except some money in a joint savings account (not easy access, would take a while to close it) and we each have a pension in private schemes from when we worked for a big company, we are no longer paying into these.
Our current lifestyle is very expensive, long story but we rented a big house for family reasons and it hasn't really worked out. We were toying with the idea of moving anyway, probably buying a smaller cheaper house. Our current rent is a lot plus council tax, heating, petrol, it all adds up. Apart from the booze we don't really spent a lot on non essentials.
If I tell him I am instigating divorce proceedings how do finances work in the short term, given that I can't pay the rent and everything else on my own? He will be difficult and controlling with money, I can sense this - he often talks about things in terms of him paying for them, it's all money "he" earns to "keep" us, my contribution is irrelevant it seems! Also I can't see him being keen to move out, the only good thing is he is in London most of the week already.
In the longer term once I can get access to the cash in the savings then this would help me rent a new smaller place for me and the DD's. How would this cash likely be split? 50:50? I don't really want to have to move before Christmas if possible but would like to start looking around. I won't have enough to buy anywhere.
I don't have a bank account in my own name although this is easy to set up - should I do this and get my own pay etc paid into it? What about tax credits, if I apply in my own right I would get more but could I do this with him still living here?
Phew that is a lot of questions sorry! Thanks to anyone who can help.
Hi, going through similar myself so can help on tax credits but not on divorce finances as not married sorry! As soon as you tell tax credits you've split, they stop it and it can take up to 6 weeks to reassess you as a single parent, so make sure you have access to cash whilst that is sorted - yes, you can claim whilst under the same roof, but you need to be sleeping apart, have own bank account sorted with pay going in etc before you do this, and get tax credits to pay into that account!! You will get housing benefit within 14 days if you ask for a fast track, but as I have found out trying to rent - anything less than a perfect credit history will mean estate agents needing huge deposit (council can lend you that though if you are leaving a relationship), guarantor, or 6 months rent up front! Councils generally don't have any emergency/temp houses to put you in, even if you are priority, as there are too many people on housing lists, but you can bid for long term council houses if you want to. You will need enough to cover first months rent, admin fees, credit check fees - so on a rent of £550 a month, you will need that, £550 deposit, usually £100 on top of that as they like to insist on that for some bizarre reason, £50 - £100 for admin, anything from £50 - £200 for checking/tenancy agreement. It is a lot when you don't have it!! Don't do what I have done and think you will get somewhere quick - it is not that simple! Start looking now, as it can take weeks from actually seeing something you like to get it and if you can stay where you are for now then do so. Tenancies are usually 6 months, so gives you short term breathing space to sort out something long term. Or get a buy to let landlord to buy your house and rent it back to save upheaval and moving costs - I am hoping for this!!! Good luck!