Money may be tight after you have separated, so it's important to look at ways to maximise your income.
This section explains some of the steps you can take.
- Make sure you are claiming all the state benefits you are entitled to. See State Entitlements and benefits.
- If you are finding it difficult to get work or have recently lost your job, contact Jobcentre Plus - see Useful links to make sure you claim all the benefits you are eligible for and to get help in finding work. If you're thinking of training for a new career you may be entitled to funding – see Useful links. If you were married or in a civil partnership, and you need time to retrain to get a job and income, especially if you have not worked for several years during the relationship, the law makes allowances for this in deciding maintenance payments.
- If you have savings and investments, or received a lump sum as settlement, it may be useful to speak to a financial adviser to help you invest your money to get the best possible return for you.
- If you are getting financial support from your former spouse or civil partner and can't manage on what you are receiving, try speaking to them to see whether you can agree an increase If you can't agree, you may need to speak to a solicitor about whether you should apply to the court to increase the payments (see Steps involved: the settlement: maintenance).
- If you are making payments to your former spouse or civil partner and can't afford to continue at that level, first try speaking to them to see whether you can agree a reduction. If you can't agree, you may need to speak to a solicitor about whether you should apply to the court to reduce the payments (see managing money – future considerations and changes).