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Split up with your ex? Tips to help you untangle your finances

Written by: Paloma Kubiak
Three million UK adults split up from their partner in the last year but two thirds are still financially linked to them. Here’s how to successfully break up your finances.

Out of the three million Brits who split up from their partner in the past 12 months, 36% had a joint mortgage while 30% had a tenancy agreement in both names, according to research from the Debt Advisory Centre

In the majority of cases – 73% – one partner had to find a new place to live. In a quarter of cases, however, both partners had to find new homes.

Some 4% were forced to continue living together as joint mortgage and tenancies usually mean both parties are liable for the whole mortgage or rent payment.

As well as property commitments, many of the former couples had other joint financial arrangements, such as a credit card or loan in both names (19%), a joint bank account (19%) and shared assets such as a TV or car (12%).

Loans and overdrafts can also see both parties being jointly liable for the whole debt which can cause problems if one partner tries to walk away from the commitment. In contrast, with credit cards it is the first named card holder who is liable for all the debt.

Debt expert Melanie Taylor of Debt Advisory Centre said: “Relationship breakdown is a major cause of problem debt.

“Unpicking a relationship is fraught with difficulties and communication is often strained or non-existent. But couples do need to agree on who is going to contribute towards clearing debts and bills that were taken in joint names – whether that’s an overdraft or the mortgage or rent.”

Taylor warned that as long as the joint accounts remain open, you’ll remain linked – financially at least – by your credit histories. So how can you break up your finances for good?

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