Separating informally

Who to inform when your marriage ends
June 27, 2016
Show all

Separating informally

If you and your partner are married, you can separate by an informal arrangement. You will need to inform some or all of the people listed under the article Who to inform when your marriage ends. You may have a legal responsibility to tell:

  • your benefits office, if you’re getting a welfare benefit such as income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance, income-related Employment and Support Allowance, Pension Credit or Income Support
  • HM Revenue and Customs, if you’re getting tax credits
  • your local council if you pay council tax or you get Housing Benefit or Council Tax Reduction.

If you and your partner agree, you can make arrangements about children, money, housing and other property without going to court. However, any informal arrangement made when you separate may affect future decisions if you do ever go to court.

A court may change an arrangement made by a couple that it considers to be unreasonable or, in the case of a child, if it’s not in the child’s best interests.