Financial Planning: Dealing with separation

Dealing with separation: Overview

We understand that any relationship breakdown can be difficult and affect multiple aspects of your life.

At HSBC, we’re here to provide you with information about how separating from your partner can affect your banking arrangements and what to think about when you’re reviewing your finances.

Please note that we can only give general information here, so do speak to us if you need more detail about any financial arrangements you have with HSBC.

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Useful information

If you and your partner are separating you may have joint finances such as mortgages, bank accounts, savings accounts or loans that will be affected by the change in your circumstances.

You may also have joint insurance policies or bills that are paid using a joint account; these may need to be cancelled or transferred, or you may need to make other arrangements for payment.

Joint accounts

If you have a current account, loan or investment in joint names you’ll need to contact the relevant bank, building society or any other provider to make them aware of your change in circumstances.

If you have any concerns regarding access to or use of an account, speak to your bank or building society to discuss what options are available to you, such as freezing the account.

Freezing an account should be given very careful consideration. On the one hand it may protect your position while you sort out your finances with your former partner. On the other hand, any important regular payments such as loan or mortgage instalments may be affected.

Usually, once an account is frozen both account holders will need to agree to any further payments, withdrawals or transfers from the account.

The impact of separation on joint accounts can differ from one bank to another, so always make sure you get specific information from whomever the account is with, including if you have an account with HSBC, as we can only give you general guidance in these notes.

Reviewing additional cards on a credit card account

If your partner is an additional card holder on your credit card account you can choose to remove them. Please note, until they are removed, you will be responsible for whatever they spend on the card (as well as your own spending). If you do decide to stop their use of the card you should let them know as they may rely on the card for day-to-day spending.

Mortgages

If you have a mortgage in joint names, you will both remain equally responsible for meeting the monthly payments (it is not the case that each of you is only responsible for paying half, even if one of you has moved out of the property). Please note that if one (or both) of you moves out of the property you will need to let your mortgage provider know.

It is important to try and agree with your former partner how you will continue to meet the mortgage payments. If you think that you may have difficulty in meeting your monthly mortgage payments you should speak to your mortgage provider at the earliest opportunity as they can often work with you to agree a suitable solution.

Savings

It’s always best to try to come to an agreement with your former partner regarding joint savings. If you are able to reach an agreement it’s usually a quick process to transfer the money to accounts in your/their sole name.

You can obtain further information on the Money Advice Service website: External site: Link opens in a new window.

Insurance
Home Insurance

If you have a joint home insurance policy you will need to inform your insurer of your change of circumstances and review your insurance arrangements to make sure they are suitable.

Car Insurance

Whether an existing policy is in your name or your former partner’s, consider whether any changes need to be made to your insurance arrangements. For example, if you are a named driver on your former partner’s policy you will need to know if your name is removed so that you don’t unknowingly drive without insurance.

Life Insurance

You may need to update your insurance company on your change of circumstances. If your former partner stands to benefit from your policy you should consider whether you want to notify the insurance company that someone else should benefit instead.

Updating your will

A relationship breakdown may be an appropriate time to consider making a Will or reviewing an existing Will.

Further information

Remember that the information above is for general guidance only. There will be important detail that you can only get from the banks, companies or other organisations your finances are linked to, so speak to them individually about your change of circumstances.

You may find the links below useful:

Relate: External site: Link opens in a new window
Relate: External site: Link opens in a new window

Support and guidance to help you make this difficult transition easier for you and your family

Gov.uk: External site: Link opens in a new window
Gov.uk: External site: Link opens in a new window

A-Z guide on Civil Partnerships, Marriages and Divorce

Resolution: External site: Link opens in a new window
Resolution: External site: Link opens in a new window

Provides information around family law

Citizens Advice Bureau: External site: Link opens in a new window
Citizens Advice Bureau: External site: Link opens in a new window

Provides guidance on how to deal with relationship problems

The website links provided are not maintained or owned by HSBC. HSBC is not liable for the accuracy of the information provided on these websites.