Once you separate, the financial resources and income that used to meet the outgoings on one household will now need to run two. So, you may decide to continue living under the same roof whilst you work out what financial agreements to put in place for the future. If that isn't possible, you need to think about how to keep your financial position as stable as possible until final agreements have been sorted out.
If you never married or formed a civil partnership, there is no obligation on you and your partner to help maintain the other.
If you cannot agree the level of support, if any that will be needed, you will have to look at ways of maximising your income and minimising your outgoings.
If you were married or in a civil partnership and you cannot manage on the financial resources available to you whilst you sort out the longer term financial agreements, providing you have started divorce or dissolution proceedings, you can apply to the court for 'interim maintenance' or 'maintenance pending suit'.
You will need to provide a short written statement setting out your present financial position, including
- your capital.
- any debts you have.
- your present income, including your earnings, money received from your spouse or civil partner, any state benefits.
- details of what you need on a day-to-day basis in the short term.
This statement is sent to your local county court along with an application form which you can download at www.hmcourts-service.gov.uk. There would then be a court hearing when a judge will decide what level of support you should receive until a final settlement is reached.
However, the legal costs of making this application may be more than the amount of money you are likely to be awarded by the court. You should use other sources of income and money before making an expensive court application.
If you have children
Whether you were married, in a civil partnership or lived together, if you have children, you can apply straight away to the Child Support Agency for provision for them from your former partner - see If you have children.