Money and property when you divorce or separate

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Getting a financial agreement

When you divorce or end a civil partnership you and your ex-partner need to agree how to separate your finances.

This includes deciding how you’re going to divide:

  • pensions
  • property
  • savings
  • investments

You might get things like:

You can usually avoid going to court hearings if you agree how to split your money and property.

The rules are different if you were not married or in a civil partnership. You’ll still have to agree on child maintenance payments for any children.

What you can do is different in Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Making an agreement legally binding

If you and your ex-partner agree on how to divide money and property, you need to apply for a consent order to make it legally binding.

Get help agreeing

You can use a mediator or get other help to resolve issues out of court.

Get the court to decide

If you cannot agree on everything, you can ask a court to make a financial order.

  1. Step 1 Get support and advice

    You can get support or counselling to help you through the divorce process.

    1. Get support and advice from Relate
    2. Find a counsellor on Counselling Directory
  2. Step 2 Check if you can get divorced

  3. Step 3 Make arrangements for children, money and property

  4. Step 4 Apply for a divorce

  5. Step 5 Apply for 'decree nisi'

    You need to apply for a 'decree nisi' and give the court more information about why your marriage has broken down.

    1. Apply for a decree nisi
  6. Step 6 Finalise your divorce

    You need to apply for a 'decree absolute' to finalise your divorce. You'll have to wait 6 weeks and 1 day from the date of your decree nisi.

    1. Apply for a decree absolute

    Once the court approves your decree absolute, they'll send you both a copy of it and your divorce will be complete.

  7. Step 7 Report that your circumstances have changed

    You also have to tell other government organisations that you're getting divorced if: