Divorce comes with a tonne of admin. Our Divorce Club Members and admin experts share some of the admin you will have to do in the first weeks of separation/divorce.
Controlling your income and expenses…
- Set up a spreadsheet of your regular expenses and income. I included car and house (buildings and content) insurance; gas and electricity; car and travel; mortgage/rent/ life insurance; council tax; mobile phone; broadband/ landline; food and household; presents, cards and postage; costs to do with separation and moving; entertainment; pension. You will feel much more in control once you’ve done it and then you can have a page for each month listing what you actually spend.
- If you need to save money, see if you can cancel any direct debits and standing orders.
- Do you need to cancel any subscriptions, memberships, holidays, expensive nights out?
- Make sure you know when your car insurance, roadside assistance, MOT and annual service are due and put them in your diary, preferably with yearly electronic reminders on your phone. Same for anything else that’s yearly and not direct debit.
- You might want to change your pension contributions, but that’s probably something to worry about a bit further down the line.
Opening a new bank account…
- You may want or need to open a new bank account. Don’t worry, they will be very nice. It’s OK to cry there. You may need to book an appointment in advance so do that as soon as you feel able.
- If you have a new bank account, you may not have all the perks you had before, like travel and mobile phone insurance and roadside assistance. So you may want to set them up separately. I’ve only done roadside assistance so far, which I did with my car insurance company.
- Then get your mobile phone direct debit transferred over. The bank will probably be able to do it for you if you are staying with the same bank so you won’t have to contact the phone company. The same applies for other direct debits and standing orders.
- Tell your payroll office at work of your new bank account, and change of name and address if you have one.
If you’re moving…
- If you’re moving out, you will need lots of boxes, strong tape, scissors and a marker pen to write on the boxes – and someone to help you move it all! I got free boxes from my local Homebase as well as buying some from there –theirs were the cheapest. I also got some small boxes from a wine shop. Don’t get big boxes or you won’t be able to lift them. You may need bubble wrap or newspaper for fragile items and pictures. Packing up your things is tough emotionally so be careful not to drive when you’re tired if you have a car. If you’ve been packing all day, think about waiting to drive until the next day.
- If you’ve moved, you may still want to see your existing GP if you have a good relationship. This gives you some continuity. Otherwise, register with a local one. Don’t worry about the dentist for a few months …. Your teeth will survive!
- If you’re moving out and you have a car, you may need to phone your insurance company to change your address.
If you’re divorcing
- You can often have a free initial half hour with a solicitor. I used Streetlife to get local recommendations for a good one. Streetlife is great for finding local recommendations for plumbers, decorators, Zumba classes, etc.
Have I missed anything? Let us know your advice on divorce admin that needs to be done in the first few weeks in our forum.