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Family Law

Can’t afford to separate?


Tuesday, November 22, 2022

Finances should never hold you back from leaving an unhappy marriage, particularly an abusive one. Commonly when a relationship breaks-down, one person will move to a rental property whilst the divorce, and the other arrangements that need to be made following a separation are finalised.

But as the difficult economic climate continues, many couples are finding they simply cannot afford to go their separate ways and they have no option but to remain living together until their financial circumstances improve.

So how do couples manage if they cannot afford to separate?

Our former client Francesca shares with us her experience …….

Francesca’s story

“Ironically the initial difficulties in our marriage were due to financial worries. Having then decided to split, we realised it was impossible for us to afford to run two homes. My husband had been made redundant from his well paid job at the start of the cost of living crisis. Meanwhile, our mortgage payments had increased and so had all our household bills. We felt trapped. We had no option but to stay together.

It was not easy being under the same roof but it was helped by the fact I was out at work all day. We had a tacit agreement in place whereby we ate our meals at separate times, slept in separate rooms and generally avoided each other as much as possible.

This arrangement continued for a while until the emotional toll became too much for me. So we switched to a “nesting arrangement”. The children remained in the family home, and my husband and I rotated, taking it in turns to live in the family home – at other times I stayed with a friend and he stayed with his parents. For the family this was the best short-term solution, as it caused the least disruption for the children and allowed them to remain in familiar surroundings and stick with their routine. It also meant we weren’t introducing them to temporary homes and importantly it negated the need for us to pay for a second home. Personally, it allowed me time to help me adjust to the fact that my marriage had ended and gave me some headspace to plan for the future.”

In our next blog we look at how the cost of living crisis is impacting upon the division of marital assets and financial settlements.

If you need any personal guidance with regards to any issues regarding separation or divorce, contact our friendly and supportive Family Law team in the strictest of confidence on 0191 232 8451 or email 

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