Becoming A Financial Victim
The biggest mistake divorcing spouses can make is being in the dark about finances. If your spouse has always handled all of the financial decisions in your household and you don’t have any information about you and your spouse’s income and assets, your spouse will have an unfair advantage over you when it comes time to settle the financial issues in your divorce.
If you suspect your spouse is planning a divorce, get as much information as you can now. Make copies of important financial records such as account statements and all other data that relates to your marital lifestyle .
If you believe your spouse may liquidate assets or retitle marital assets without your consent, notify the holder of the asset or property in writing and get a restraining order from the court. Watch out for any cash held in joint checking and brokerage accounts, and the cash value of life insurance policies. If your spouse uses or moves assets without your knowledge, you may have to hire legal and forensic accounting experts to help you locate and value the assets.
Before Your Divorce Is Finalized
If you decide to move before your divorce is finalized, renting may be the best option. The reason: You likely won’t have access to funds that may be available after selling your home. Further, some of your assets may be frozen until after the divorce is complete. Therefore, your buying power could be limited at this time. If you want to buy a new home and have the means to make a down payment before your divorce is finalized, you may need to have your spouse sign a quitclaim deed for the property you want to buy. This document is sometimes needed to make sure the new home you buy isn’t considered a marital asset.
Who Pays The Bills During A Separation In Alberta
When couples are separated, they remain legally married. This means the Family Law Act still applies, including section 5 which says that spouses must live separate and apart for one year before being eligible to apply for a divorce. While spouses are separated, they continue to be responsible for all of the expenses that came with the marriage, such as rent and/or any joint loan payments . Listed below are more examples of joint financial obligations:
- Maintenance costs
- Capital expenses that benefit both parties
- Day-to-day expenses and
- Care of the child of the marriage/relationship.
When married couples decide to separate, the spouses must determine how they will support themselves and their children. Traditionally, the obligation to financially support a child shifted from parents when a child reached the age of 18. In todays society, many parents still continue to provide financial support for adult children well beyond that age. Child support is usually paid by one parent to the other until a child reaches majority or until a court orders otherwise.
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Moving Out Of The Marital Home During Divorce
So, you’re moving out. To rent or to buy? Most people will do one or the other. Before the divorce has been filed, it’s highly recommended that you research your options to gain an understanding of which move would be right for you. Consider your finances, the housing market, and rental rates in your chosen area. If you have children and plan to co-parent, consider where your ex will live to minimize transport woes. Keep in mind that it typically takes 45 to 90 days for a divorce to finalize after the paperwork has been filed. This gives you some time to resolve your living situation.
If You Have A Rolling Tenancy
If you want to stay in the property and your ex-partner wants to leave, you can keep their name on the tenancy agreement or try and change the tenancy agreement.
You might want to keep your ex-partner’s name on the tenancy agreement if you think your landlord won’t agree to changing the tenancy. However, if your ex-partners name is still on the tenancy they:
will still be legally responsible for paying the rent
have the right to come back and live in the property
can end the tenancy agreement at any time – this will end the tenancy for both of you
might not be able to apply for social housing
You cant just remove a name from a tenancy agreement, but there are other ways to change your tenancy agreement.
If you want to change your tenancy agreement so it’s just in your name, you have 3 options:
ending your joint tenancy and getting a new tenancy agreement in your name only
changing the names on the tenancy agreement through a process called ‘assignment’
Getting a new tenancy agreement
You might be able to end your joint tenancy agreement straight away and get a new one just in your name. Your ex-partner and your landlord will need to agree to this change. This is called ‘surrendering your tenancy’.
Before you ask your landlord to end your tenancy agreement, check if theyll agree to the change. Your landlord might not want to give you a new tenancy agreement – for example, if you have had rent arrears.
Changing the names on your tenancy agreement
Going to court
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When One Spouse Pays Expenses For The Other Spouse
When a couple separates, one spouse might be making payments for the other spouse to avoid losing important property or to prevent damage to his or her credit rating.
The spouse paying can ask to be paid back, no matter the reason. This spouse will generally be refunded, but there is no guarantee. It is important to keep proof of payment .
In addition, since the refund of expenses is not considered urgent, the spouse must wait for the final divorce judgment to learn whether or not the judge will order reimbursement.
However, the spouse paying can ask the judge to make an emergency decision to temporarily settle which spouse is responsible for which expenses.
The spouse paying can also try to reach an agreement with the other spouse before paying an expense.
Leaving Your Belongings Behind
Typically, when a divorcing spouse leaves the marital home, its not a particularly well-thought-out process. You pack your personal belongings and get in the car. You dont worry about the rest of your property very much, because you assume youll be able to retrieve it whenever you need to.
But you should be aware that once youre out, your access to the house may be limited. Before you move out, it’s best to at least gather important documents and possibly come to some agreements about personal belongings, big ticket items, and other property with sentimental value before you leave the home.
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Can You Receive Temporary Spousal Support
It should be no secret that the incomes of two spouses are not always equal. If one person is a significantly higher earner than the other, the financially disadvantaged spouse may be able to request temporary spousal support while they try to figure out their newly single income. This support may also apply during situations when one spouse has been out of the workforce for an extended period of time.
Temporary spousal support is not likely to cover every penny of your expenses, but it can certainly be a welcome addition to your monthly income for a period of time. It can assist with paying bills while you search for a better job or a higher-paying position in your current field. The financial gaps can be substantially lessened, giving you breathing room and a better opportunity to establish financial security for your single lifestyle.
The additional benefit to this method of gaining assistance in paying your bills is that it does not have long-term consequences for your credit. The bills have a greater chance of being paid on-time with the financial assistance of your spouse, so it is more likely to make sure your credit score stays in pristine condition. As a result, you will be more eligible for future loans, mortgages, or credit cards.
Drafting A Financial Agreement
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Exclusive Possession Of The Residence
Under certain high-conflict circumstances, you may be able to petition the court for temporary exclusive possession of your residence during the divorce process. In order to do so, you will need to demonstrate that you or your children are at risk of harm to your physical or mental well-being as long as your spouse continues to live there. The court will typically hold a hearing to determine whether there is cause to evict a spouse based on the facts of the case.
Utility Bills In One Name Or Sole Mortgage
If the house is in the name of one spouse or if there is a sole mortgage on the matrimonial home it will ultimately be the responsibility of the named person to pay the bills or mortgage repayments. But if they are reliant on their spouse for contributions to any of these payments, this can result in them finding themselves in serious financial difficulties. However, as discussed, this will affect both spouses, as it will lead to a reduction in the overall matrimonial pot.
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If Your Partner Makes You Feel Anxious Or Threatened You Should Get Help
Dont try to agree what to do about your home without speaking to someone first.
If you’re a man affected by domestic abuse you can call Men’s Advice Line on 0808 801 0327 between 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday.
If youre unsure about what to do next, contact your nearest Citizens Advice.
Keep Making Payments Of Your Current Bills
Follow the thumb rules when determining the household payments bills during the divorce.
Before you get the separation agreement, you shouldnt stop paying your current bills.
If the house is yours, you have to pay the utility bill.
Also, you need to pay the car loan and other necessary bills like cable, internet, and phone. In a word, keep paying all the bills that are your current responsibilities.
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Who Pays The Bills During Separation In Ontario
When you and your spouse decide to separate, there are of course many factors to consider and decisions to be made. One of the most important is the division of financial responsibilities. Your monthly expenses, such as the mortgage and utility bills, will continue during the separation process, and the question of who will pay them is a tricky one to answer. There isnt an automatic solution, and in fact the sometimes the answer can change depending on whether you are legally married or in a common-law partnership.
If You Want To Sell Your Home
If you both want to leave, you can sell the home and split any profits – you can get help selling your home.
You might be able to buy your ex-partners share if you want to stay, or sell them yours if you want to leave. You’ll need a mortgage.
You can speak to your mortgage lender – or you can try to get a better deal with another lender. You can do this by speaking to banks or building societies yourself or through a mortgage broker. Some mortgage brokers will charge you a fee.
Your mortgage lender will usually want to check that the person who wants to stay can afford the whole mortgage by themselves. Theyll usually ask to see evidence like payslips and bank statements.
Youll need to get in touch with a solicitor to transfer ownership on the land registry. Make sure you’re able to get a mortgage by yourself first – otherwise you could waste money on a solicitor.
If youre both named on the mortgage, youre both responsible for the payments – including any arrears – even if one of you moves out. When you separate, you might be able to make other arrangements for paying it.
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Failing To Recognize Your Common Enemy
Work together with a divorce financial planner or tax accountant to minimize the total taxes you and your spouse will pay during separation and after divorce you can share the money you save. Don’t forget that both spouses are liable for taxes due as a result of audits on joint returns, so it’s usually in your best interest to work together and minimize possible liabilities. If you’re facing complicated tax issues in your divorce, it’s best to consult with an experienced family law attorney and an accountant.
Does The Husband Have To Pay The Wife During A Separation In Alberta
Many people wonder does the husband have to pay the wife during separation in Alberta?. Well, it depends on the persons individual circumstances.
Everyone knows that the legal process for a divorce is both long and expensive. When youre in the middle of a divorce, it can be difficult to make ends meet. If youre a breadwinner and supporting your spouse, as well as your children, it may be difficult to cover your basic monthly expenses such as housing, food and other necessities. In addition to covering your own necessities, many spouses are responsible for providing an allowance for their children during the divorce process.
The best thing you can do during a separation is come to terms via a written agreement, many couples find that using a divorce mediator to help negotiate terms is both a useful and cost effective way to come to an agreement about finances.
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Disregarding The Long Term Impact Of Inflation
The effects of inflation on the cost of a child’s college education, or on retirement, 15 years in the future can be dramatic. The “Rule of 72” is a simple way to judge the impact of inflation. For example, if the inflation rate is 3%, the “Rule of 72” means that prices will double in 24 years . College costs at 5% inflation will double in 14.4 years . Be sure to work inflation into your settlement negotiations so you can cover the true costs of future financial expenses.
Both Your Names Are On The Rental Agreement
If this is the case, then you are both responsible for paying the rent. This also means either of you can end the tenancy. This could prove an issue if your split is a difficult one.
- One person moves out and signs the tenancy over to the other partner.
Now weve looked at the different types of agreement, there are different rights depending on what kind of landlord you have.
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What Happens If My Husband Or Wife Stops Paying The Bills
Both spouses should continue to pay any household bills they were paying prior to their decision to separate.
If regular bills are not paid during this period, this can lead to either or both parties receiving County Court Judgments , which can make it harder to obtain credit in the future. In general, the person whose name appears on the bill will be penalised for late repayments.
However, it is important to remember that any debts accumulated as a result of late repayments will reduce the overall matrimonial pot, and will potentially reduce the share available to both spouses.
First Steps To Separation: Financial Checklist
Its extremely important that everyone is on the same page when it comes to finances during a separation or divorce. Gathering up all of your financial documents is an essential first step. These should include:
- Lease or rental agreements
- Any other shared financial responsibilities, including child care, health care, and pet-related costs
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Failing To Consider Your Spouse’s Eligibility For Social Security Benefits
If a couple is married for 10 years or longer, a non-working or lower-earning spouse is entitled to derivative social security benefits on the higher earning spouse’s record. These derivative benefits do not impact or lower the worker spouse’s social security payments, which is why it’s so ironic that the average length of marriage for people who get divorced is about nine and a half years. Waiting just another six months may guarantee increased retirement options with no reduction in payments.
For more information on this topic, see Social Security Benefits After Divorce by Lina Guillen.