The death of a former partner, spouse or civil partner can be a very difficult and distressing time. There can also be an immediate impact on your financial position.
Whether you were married, in a civil partnership or lived together, any maintenance payments made for you personally or for any children will end automatically. You may have arranged insurance against this event to ensure that you continue to receive an income. Whether or not you can enforce any outstanding obligations under the court order against your former spouse or civil partner's estate will depend on the exact terms of the order or agreement and the type of asset in question. This is a very complex area of law and you should speak to a solicitor immediately about your rights (see Useful links)
It is possible that you or your children will be named as beneficiaries under the terms of your former spouse, civil partner or partner's Will. If not, then it may be possible for you to bring a claim personally, or on behalf of any children, under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975. To do so if you never married or formed a civil partnership, you must have been financially dependent on your former partner immediately before their death, or living together in the same household, as if you were husband and wife, for two years immediately before your former partner's death (which is unlikely if you have separated).
If you were married or in a civil partnership, depending on the terms of the financial agreement or court order made in divorce or dissolution, you may still be able to bring a claim under the Inheritance (Provision for Family and Dependants) Act 1975 either personally or on behalf of any children. Again, you should speak to a solicitor immediately about your rights as you may need to take action quickly (see Useful links)