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3 money tips for when you’re separating.

Separating is never the goal of a relationship, but it’s an unfortunate reality for some couples. The experience is made even more complicated when you factor in finances.

You may have shared assets, accounts and debts – either through marriage or a common-law relationship – that need to be divided. As you adjust to a single income, you should also make a plan to ensure your financial resilience.

Here are three tips to keep in mind as you go through this process:


Divide your assets

This isn’t something you want to rush, but it should be one of the first things on your checklist. If you’re able, sit down with your ex-partner and have a discussion about where you’re at financially – put it all out on the table.

Separations can be emotional, so it might be a good idea to seek legal or financial advice. An objective third party can help you sort through your assets, especially if one person held property before your union. Ideally, you’ll walk away with a plan for equitable asset division.


Budget for single living

Whether you’re now living on a single income, making support payments or moving to a new home, there are many factors to consider as you enter this phase of life. Try to build a budget early on in your separation so that new expenses don’t catch you by surprise.

You may still have joint obligations, financial or otherwise, so it’s important to clearly define your responsibilities. You may also be faced with new expenses, such as rising housing or childcare costs. Add everything to your new budget and see where you might be able to make adjustments. It can take some time to adjust to a new budget and, when used responsibly, credit can provide peace of mind when unexpected expenses happen.



Build financial stability

You never know what the future holds, which is why it’s a good idea to start building a safety net. Although achieving financial independence can seem daunting in the beginning, taking the right steps can feel empowering:

  • Build an emergency fund and start putting aside funds for a rainy day right away.

  • If your separation left you with debt, make a plan to pay it off as soon as possible.

  • There may be changes to your taxes when filing on your own. Explore all your options and you might find benefits that you didn’t previously qualify for.

Take the time you need

Single living can be a big adjustment and far from simple. You won’t have everything figured out on day one, and that’s OK! Plan as much as you can, establish a budget and give yourself time to settle.


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