Why you NEED to get a divorce!
It is more and more prevalent that couples of today are deciding not to divorce after separating. This is often down to the financial factor of a divorce and the lack of necessity. Divorcing can cost over a thousand pounds even in a civil divorce but far more than that if matters get complicated with aspects like a house and spousal maintenance. Therefore, many couples decide to separate and just go their separate ways only opting to divorce in the instance of a remarriage.Although this may seem like an easy option it could have a huge impact on your loved ones after you die. Working within this sector, we see cases daily where someone has passed away and their partner who they haven’t been with (and in some cases seen or heard from) for years are set to inherit their entire estate.
This happens when a will hasn’t been written up so by the law of intestacy the estate will automatically go to the deceased’s spouse regardless of separation as a divorce has not been finalised.
As stated on the Citizens Advice Bureau website:
“Married partners or civil partners inherit under the rules of intestacy only if they are actually married or in a civil partnership at the time of death. So, if you are divorced or if your civil partnership has been legally ended, you can’t inherit under the rules of intestacy. Partners who separated informally can still inherit under the rules of intestacy. Cohabiting partners (sometimes wrongly called ‘common-law’ partners) who were neither married nor in a civil partnership can’t inherit under the rules of intestacy.”
This will mean if you have children, get married and later separate, if a divorce hasn’t taken place your children will not receive any of your estate as everything will go to the spouse. Therefore, it is important to write up a will but with many people they don’t think it’s necessary until the later years of their life. However, if a tragedy occurs before you write a will then your children (or loved ones and family if your do not have children) will not receive a penny of your estate.
In conclusion, we highly recommend legally divorcing from you partner as opposed to just separating. We encounter too many cases where a child of an intestate is left heartbroken as one of their parent’s ex-spouses (though legally regarded as just a spouse) inherits the entirety of their parent’s estate. This could have a huge impact on the rest of your children’s life, not just financially, but also emotionally as not only money gets inherited but also belongings which may have strong sentimental value to your children.