Starting over after divorce can be an addition to one’s financial challenges especially in the case of low income, lack of access to benefits and child maintenance expenses. Through this blog post, we will explore the options that individuals have when they need to start over after a divorce when they have little to no money. To provide as much guidance as possible, we will also discuss the housing options one has in such cases as well as the potential benefits one may claim to meet their living expenses.

How Do You Start Over After Divorce With No Money?

In order to start over after divorce with no money in hand, you should first assess the finances that you have held with your ex-partner and try to come to a financial agreement regarding the division of the following:

  • Investments
  • Pensions 
  • Property
  • Savings

You might be able to claim financial support through a share of your partner’s pension as well as regular maintenance payments for yourself and your children (if any).

If you and your partner can amicably agree on a financial assistance agreement, both of you can seek the advice of a solicitor and sign a formal, legal contract that covers the following:

  • The amount and frequency of payments
  • The duration of the payments 
  • Circumstances that will lead to an end of the payments
  • Expenses that these payments will cover
  • How often will the budgets be reviewed

However, if you are unable to reach a mutual agreement with your ex-partner, you may need the services of a solicitor so that a court order can be issued in your favour.

If you need to review the terms of financial support after some time and your ex-partner is not willing to increase the maintenance that they are supposed to provide, declaring the below information before a court of law can help you in getting additional financial support:

  • You have become unemployed
  • Your ex-partner has received additional finance; increased pay or an inheritance
  • Your ex-partner has moved in with someone else and has an increased household as a result

On the other hand, if your ex-partner does not have the financial resources to continue providing financial support, you may consider seeking state benefits or applying for council house residency. In this manner, you will reduce your housing costs on one hand while you receive financial support through benefits.

How Do You Find Affordable Housing After A Divorce?

If you are on a low income after a divorce, you can search for affordable housing offers by landlords who let out properties on rent for benefits claimants. You can ask your council office for information regarding such offers or look it up on online forums or social media platforms.

In fact, if you are at risk of homelessness, the council can not only help you find affordable housing in the private sector but also help you with the initial deposit to be paid to the private landlord.

Additionally, the council authorities can also provide shelter or council housing if your circumstances make you eligible.

Can you live in the same house as your ex-partner after a divorce? 

If you and your partner are both listed as joint tenants, you can continue living in your matrimonial house if you are faced with financial constraints and you have the risk of domestic abuse. In order to remove you from the tenancy contract, your ex-partner will need an agreement from you and the landlord. However, you should keep in mind that being listed as a joint tenant keeps you responsible for a contribution towards the house rent. 

If you are listed as the tenant and your ex-partner is listed as an occupant they will not be able to remove you from the tenancy agreement. You can simply inform your landlord of the change and ask them to draw up a fresh tenancy agreement in your name. If your partner is listed as the tenant and you as the occupant, you may have to vacate the premises and look for a place to live. 

However, if your ex-partner chooses to leave, you have the status changed through the mutual agreement of your landlord and ex-partner by having a fresh tenancy agreement drawn up.

In cases where an ex-partner’s name is to be removed from council tenancy agreements due to domestic violence, you can get help from council authorities on a priority basis.

Can You Claim Benefits After A Divorce If You Are A Single Mum?

Yes, a single mum can claim benefits after a divorce. Below is a list of benefits that single parents can claim depending on their circumstances:

  • If you have savings of less than £16,000, you can claim Housing Benefit whether you live on your own or in a shared property. 
  • If you work for 16 hours or more, you will be entitled to Working Tax Credit. You will be eligible for an additional amount if you are working for 30 hours or more. 
  • If you have sole responsibility for a child under the age of 16 years, you can claim Child Tax Credit and Child Benefit.
  • Parents who work equal to or less than 16 hours per week or are unable to work can claim Income Support or Jobseekers Allowance.
  • If you have a health condition or a disability due to which you cannot work, you can claim Employment and Support Allowance
  • You may qualify for income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance or income-related Employment and Support Allowance. If you receive these benefits for 26 weeks, you can apply for an interest-free loan for basic home expenses.
  • If you are a homeowner claiming Universal Credit, you can apply for Support for Mortgage Interest (SMI) to help you with mortgage payments.
  • If you are the sole adult in your household, you can claim a 25 per cent discount on your council tax bills.

An independent Benefits Calculator can help you learn about state benefits that you can qualify for if you are divorced with no money.

Conclusion:

While there are a number of ways to reduce your living costs if you need to start over after a divorce and have no money,  your options will be limited by your circumstances. If you are on low income with no option for housing, you can contact your local council authorities to seek council housing. Simultaneously, if you qualify for benefits, you can avail them to pay for your and your children’s living costs.

FAQs: How Do You Start Over After Divorce With No Money?

How do I leave my husband with no money in the UK?

If you have no money but still intend to leave your husband, you can seek financial support through the court. Your other option is to claim state benefits and apply for council housing.

How do you rebuild financially after a divorce?

In order to rebuild yourself financially after a divorce, you may need to cut down on certain expenses, go back to working full time if you weren’t doing so and start saving for your future.

Does a husband have to support his wife financially?

While there is no law that goes in favour of or against this statement; however it is expected that a husband and wife will contribute equally through their incomes and one will support the other financially.

What is a wife entitled to in a divorce settlement in the UK?

A wife is entitled to an equal share in a divorce settlement in the UK. She can also continue receiving financial support for herself (until she finds another partner) as well as child maintenance.

How long does it take to recover from a divorce financially?

As per a report by Reuters, it generally takes 5 years for someone to recover financially from the consequences of a divorce. However, it may take more time for individuals whose mental health has been affected by the impact of divorce and they may continue to need support and counselling.

References:

Arranging financial support after you separate – Citizens Advice

Money and property when you divorce or separate: Getting a financial agreement – GOV.UK

Divorce and separation | MoneyHelper

Action-to-take-when-a-relationship-ends.pdf

Your rights to a rented home during divorce, dissolution or separation

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