Moving on after separation.
A divorce or separation can be a tough time, and money stresses can add to your worries, so we’ve put together a few key steps to help alleviate some pressure.
Taking control of your finances.
When you have been through a major life event like a separation or divorce, it could be a good opportunity to review your finances and get things in order. Reclaiming control of your own finances is a way to move on from the end of a relationship and take steps toward an independent future.
Get independent legal advice as you go through your separation. A lawyer will be able to support you if you want to freeze any joint accounts.
Updating your personal finances
You may like to set up new transaction and/or credit card accounts that are in your name alone. If you do set up a new account, don't forget to update the account your wages/salary is credited to. Check on your regular payments - you may need to cancel utilities payments or change the account they are debited from. You may wish to change the name on your various utilities, accounts and subscriptions, too.
Separating your accounts
If you have joint accounts, or if your partner is set up as an additional card holder on for example a credit card, it’s important that you understand who is liable for the balance(s). As a rule of thumb, if it’s a joint credit card account you are both liable. However, if you are the main account holder and your partner is an additional account holder you alone are liable for the balance. Take a look at the Conditions of Use for your each of accounts to find out where you stand.
Separating your assets
When you jointly own a house or car, you'll need to find a way to split out those assets. These are typically your choices:
- Sell the asset and split the money
- Buy the full share of the asset
- Sell your share of the asset.
If you can agree on how to split your finances, that will help to make your separation go more smoothly. You should also seek independent legal advice.
Updating your will
Is your will recent? You might like to renew your will, so your instructions about how your estate should be distributed are up to date. Get advice from a lawyer or trustee company to make sure your will is valid.
Reviewing your insurance
Your life insurance or other insurance policies might name your former partner as a policy owner. You may want to change that, and you may also need to review your insurance cover based on your new lifestyle.
Changing enduring powers of attorney
Do you have an enduring power of attorney (EPA) that names your former partner as an attorney? You may wish to change that - speak to a lawyer to update your EPAs.
Creating a budget for your new lifestyle.
It could also be a good time to create a budget based on your new situation. Online budgeting tools can show you where you're spending the most, help you identify areas where you might be able to cut down your spending, and estimate how much you might be able to save or contribute to debt repayment. You could start with our budget calculator.
Estimating a budget for your money after a divorce or separation is one way to start working towards your new goals. Do you want to:
- Pay off debt?
- Save for a holiday?
- Train for a new career?
- Start a business?
- Save for a home deposit?
With a new budget and a fresh start, you can get yourself into a stronger financial position and begin working towards your goals.
We can help.
Work out a budget
Use an online budgeting tool to create a budget based on your new situation. Identify where you're spending and opportunities for saving or debt repayment.
Consider your insurance cover
Westpac KiwiSaver Scheme
Have you considered whether you are in the right KiwiSaver fund? It’s worth considering as it could significantly impact the amount you have in your account when it comes time to draw on it.
Financial hardship support
Struggling to pay your basic living costs? You may be eligible for financial hardship support, which can provide options to reduce your loan repayment amounts, restructure debt or take a payment holiday.
Things you should know.
Terms, conditions, fees and charges apply to Westpac products and services.
BT Funds Management (NZ) Limited is the scheme provider and Westpac New Zealand Limited is the distributor, of the Westpac KiwiSaver Scheme (Scheme).
Investments made in the Scheme do not represent bank deposits or other liabilities of Westpac Banking Corporation ABN 33 007 457 141, Westpac New Zealand Limited or other members of the Westpac group of companies. They are subject to investment and other risks, including possible delays in payment of withdrawal amounts in some circumstances, and loss of investment value, including principal invested. None of BT Funds Management (NZ) Limited (as manager), any member of the Westpac group of companies, The New Zealand Guardian Trust Company Limited (as supervisor), or any director or nominee of any of those entities, or any other person guarantees the Scheme’s performance, returns or repayment of capital.
For a copy of the Product Disclosure Statement or more information about the Scheme, contact any Westpac branch or call 0508 972 254 or from overseas +64 9 375 9978 (international toll charges apply). You can also download the Product Disclosure Statement.