Adjusting to a change in income
If separation means a change in household income, it's important to know exactly where the money comes from and where it goes.
Sorting out the day-to-day finances
To work out the current state of your finances you’ll need to check the following:
- Power and phone bills
- Credit and store card bills
- Details of investments and superannuation funds (including KiwiSaver)
- Rental agreements
- Property deeds, mortgage papers, home loan details
- Savings and transaction account statements
- Tax records
- Insurance policies – income protection, life, health, home and contents and car insurance
- Will and estate plans
You’ll also need to review any business documents if you had a business with your ex-partner.
Making a plan for the future
Use the budgeting tool to work out a plan for income and spending from now on. No matter how much or how little you have to play with, sticking to a budget will put you in control of your money.
This is also a good time to set some new financial goals – here’s our guide to setting goals.
If there are debts to pay off, use this debt calculator to make a repayment plan.
Managing finances after a divorce or breakup can be hard, especially if you’re new to it. But advice is available – including free budgeting help.
Free help is also available for the wider aspects of dealing with separation. The Family Court provides up to six hours of free counselling for people who need to sort out separation issues. For more information visit the Ministry of Justice website.
The Citizens Advice Bureau is also a good source of information, help and advice.
Wills, insurance and superannuation
After a relationship break-up you may need to update your will – particularly if you want to change any references to your ex-partner.
Your insurance policies may also need updating, especially life insurance if you have children.
Getting retirement savings sorted after a relationship ends is an important step in planning for the future. If your partner had been taking care of this, you may need to set up your own savings plan.
Note that if either partner contributed to KiwiSaver during the relationship, those savings could be counted as relationship property and will need to be divided along with the other assets.
If there are children involved you may need to work out child support arrangements. To find out about child support payments and how they work, see the Inland Revenue website.
Where to go for help