How To Deal With Finances After A Break Up

by Online Dating on July 26, 2011

Money is sometimes a hot button issue in relationships, but it always becomes extremely important after a break up. Not all relationships last forever, so it’s best to get a handle on your finances as soon as things go south. Whether you’re dealing with leaving a serious relationship or getting a divorce, here are a few tips on how to deal with your finances after a break up.

Joint Assets

To cover you ass, be sure to list all of your joint assets off the bat to keep track of things. Contact your bank, brokerage firm, etc. and alert them of your situation to protect your assets. Information that you should gather and consider for your list:

  • Bank account statements
  • Any investments
  • Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) accounts
  • Credit card statements
  • Insurance policies
  • Rental or mortgage payers agreements
  • Gather past tax returns

If you have joint savings accounts, you both need to figure out how you’ll split up the money and close the accounts immediately afterward. Open up a new account under your own name, if you don’t have one already.

If you have joint credit cards, cancel those as well. You’re both responsible for these accounts, but you’ll need to figure out how you’ll split your other joint debt, if you have any — if the debt is under your name only, you’re legally responsible for it.

When it comes to credit cards, interest charges can add up quickly, so be on the same page when it comes to creating a payment plan. It’s also a good idea to contact your credit card companies to give them a heads up about your situation, especially if you’ve come up with a special payment arrangement.

Finally, check up on your credit reports and score (Equifax and Transunion) a little while after the break up to be sure the credit bureau has up-to-date information.

Update Plans & Paperwork

If you listed your partner as a beneficiary and/or dependent through your health benefits/insurance, be sure to update that information right away. Contact your HR department and benefits provider — they can help you through this process.

Update any other paperwork, especially if you’ve listed your partner as an emergency contact.


Cash will be one of your best friends during and after a break up — keep it easily accessible. You’ll probably need it for moving costs, new furniture, rental costs, and other random things.

A Note on Small Claims Court

If your ex owes you money, you may want to get back at them by taking them to small claims court — it’s usually not worth it. That $500 they owe you will add up to much more in stress and sometimes more money than they even owe you. If you’re dealing with a divorce situation, hiring a mediator for negotiations and a lawyer once you need everything tied up is generally a better — and cheaper — option than having lawyers battle the whole thing out.


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