How to Cope With Finances on Divorce in the Current Economic Climate

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Sarah Whitelegge - Senior Associate

3 minutes reading time

Given the current situation with the economic climate, there are a few practical steps you could consider in the hopes of alleviating some of the financial pressure faced during divorce and financial remedy proceedings.

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1. Council Tax reduction 

There are instances where an individual is eligible for a discount or reduction off their council tax bill, which could subsequently save you money each month. The onus is on you to alert the council, and you can do this directly on the Government website.

Discounts are available if you are living alone (or with under-18s) or if you or a family member/friend have a ‘severe mental impairment’; then you may be eligible for up to 100% discount on the basis your ‘severe mental impairment’ is certified by a medical professional, and you receive at least one of several benefits. There are also discounts available for those who are carers subject to a threshold criterion. 

Students are exempt from paying council tax, and if you are on a low income or benefits, you may qualify for a council tax reduction. 

If you can provide evidence that you have had to renovate your property to accommodate someone living with a disability, your council tax band may be dropped. 

Council Tax reduction

2. Challenging energy providers when they try to increase your monthly payments 

It is important to conduct market research to find the most cost-efficient energy provider for you. It is also recommended that you provide your supplier with regular meter readings to give you the most accurate bill. Smart meters can be a good way to stay on top of this as they automatically send the meter readings to the supplier. If your bill does not seem proportionate to the cost you are paying, challenge your energy provider and ask them to lower the direct debit to reflect your actual usage and meter readings. Therefore, it is important to have an accurate record of past meter readings.

There may be times when your account is in credit. For example, between summer and winter, in these circumstances, ask for your money back.

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3. Getting the best deals on your mortgage 

It is important to carry out research on the best mortgage deals. A good starting point would be checking with your bank to see what deals they can offer you. It is also worth using a mortgage comparison site such as Mortgage Best Buys.

Once you have found a good rate, it is advisable to speak to a trustworthy mortgage broker to see if they are able to get you a better deal. However, it is always worth double-checking with other providers after speaking to a mortgage broker, as some lenders do not operate through brokers, and they may be able to offer you a better rate.

Deals on your mortgage Divorce Financial Settlements

4. Pension consolidation 

Pension consolidation is the process by which you combine all, or the majority, of your pension pots into one pension to enable you to save on fees and other hidden charges. It is also easier to record how much money you have saved if it is all in one place. Combining your pension savings could also mean you can access a wider range of investment funds. However, it is very important that you seek financial advice from an IFA or pension actuary before taking any steps to consolidate your pensions.

5. Debt advice 

Here are a few suggestions to clear any debts:

  • Budgeting – it can be helpful to use a Budget Planner to create a spreadsheet of all your income and spending.
  • Comparing and switching providers such as energy, car insurance and home insurance providers
  • Seek assistance from helpful charities such as Step Change charity and Advice Now.

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If you are going through a divorce and want constructive advice to help reach a financial settlement, you can contact one of our expert Family Law Solicitors below.

0161 941 4000

Sarah Whitelegge's profile picture

Sarah Whitelegge

Senior Associate

Sarah has over 17 years of experience acting as a Family solicitor. Sarah has specialist expertise in complex children matters and has experience of dealing with applications for child arrangement orders, prohibited steps orders, and special guardianship orders.

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