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New ‘no fault’ divorce laws come into effect this week in the biggest shake-up to the rules in decades, aimed at reducing conflict when marriages break up.

Given money is often one of the most contentious issues between ex-partners, you might be interested to know that your ex’s behaviour can have the power to affect your finances for years after a divorce is finalised.

But there are steps you can take to ease the process and make sure you’re protecting yourself in the long run. For everything you need to know, see this guide from the experts at

James Andrews, Senior Personal Finance Editor at, said: “The new ‘no fault’ divorce laws that have just come into effect are a welcome development, but splitting couples should not make the mistake of believing the changes protect them financially.

“The immediate aftermath of the breakup is when you have to be the most proactive with your finances, or you could end up in big money trouble later down the line.

“If you have a joint bank account with your former partner, freeze it immediately. Regardless of what has happened between the two of you, your credit ratings are still linked, so if you owe any money to lenders and one of you fails to pay it back – your credit ratings will both pay the price.

“Freezing your joint account levels the playing field with your ex-partner when it comes to splitting the funds (which is something you’ll need to do), as you’ll both be in the same position financially.

“If you don’t freeze the account, there’s a possibility that your ex-partner could withdraw some or all of the cash before you begin to discuss splitting the money, putting you in a weaker negotiating position from the start – and at risk of ending up out of pocket.

“Once you’ve closed your joint account, you can apply for financial disassociation, which will ensure your credit reports are completely separated and that any issues your ex has no longer affect you. You can do this by contacting a credit reference agency such as Experian, Equifax or TransUnion.

“If you have a savings account with your partner, splitting the funds can be trickier, as you’re relying on their good faith to divide the cash equally. If you’re worried about not getting your fair share of the funds, you can bring in a mediator to help with the negotiation, but this comes with a hefty bill, and is best avoided if possible.

“And don’t forget pensions when divorcing – you might be surprised just how often the funds built up in them are a bigger financial asset than the family home.

“The easiest way to ensure a smooth financial separation is by keeping an open and amicable line of communication with your ex, if you’re able to, as doing so gives you the best possible chance to calmly and fairly divide your finances.

“If it’s not possible to reason with your partner, it may unfortunately fall to a court to untangle your finances. In that situation, you’ll be in a much stronger position if you can prove that you’ve been willing to communicate openly from the start, while your partner hasn’t.

“For more tips on how to ease the process of financial separation, use’s comprehensive guide to financial separation here:”