Separation and divorce
Personal finances: 9 things to do after a breakup
A breakup often leads to changes that can create uncertainty and stress, especially when it comes to the state of your personal finances. Here are some tips for a successful transition.
1. Prepare your balance sheet and budget
Drawing up a summary of your personal financial situation and making a new budget to reflect your new reality will let you better prepare for the future and make realistic plans.
The Associations coopératives d’économie familiale (ACEF) can help. For a list of ACEFs by region, consult our map of resources.
2. Review your joint financial commitments
To avoid potential conflicts or unpleasant surprises, it’s a good idea to deal with your joint commitments as quickly as possible. Among other things, be sure to make the necessary decisions about:
3. Change your passwords
Make sure you change the passwords and personal identification numbers (PINs) on all your accounts, especially if you shared them with each other. It’s also best to delete any personal information you’ve stored on a family computer that allows access to your bank accounts.
4. Review your powers of attorney
If your ex has authorizations – also called “powers of attorney” or “mandates” – to carry out certain transactions or administrative tasks on your behalf (e.g., depositing or withdrawing money from your personal account, applying for certain benefits), contact your financial institution or the relevant body to find out how to revoke these authorizations.
If you wish to revoke these authorizations, contact the financial institution or the relevant body to find out how to do it.
Make sure that you keep each other informed of such changes in writing.
5. Redirect your pre-authorized debits and direct deposits
Update the information for your pre-authorized bank debits and direct deposits that you regularly receive so that they reflect your new reality.
6. Change your address
If you move, remember to provide your new address to the relevant people, institutions, and agencies. For example:
- Your banks or credit unions
- Your credit card issuers
- People and businesses you owe money to or who are indebted to you
- Government agencies
- Your insurance companies
This way you’ll be sure to you receive your benefits, indemnities, and tax refunds without any delays. You’ll also be quickly informed if your accounts become overdue so you can avoid accumulating debt.
7. Contact your insurance company
Several changes need to be made to all your insurance contracts after a breakup.
If one of you is covered by the other’s group insurance, this coverage may end when you break up.
If so, you’ll have to subscribe to your employer’s group insurance or to the Public Prescription Drug Insurance Plan (RAMQ).
Check with your insurance company to find out what your rights are and how to change the beneficiary of your life insurance policy.
If you move, you’ll have to cancel your home insurance contract and each take out another one for your new home.
If either of you leaves the home, it might be preferable to inform your insurer of your new family situation.
If you no longer share the use of your cars, you can ask your insurer to change the list of main or occasional drivers of the vehicles. This may affect your insurance premiums.
8. Update your will
9. Notify the tax agencies
Inform Revenu Québec and the Canada Revenue Agency of your new status as soon as possible.
They will adjust the advance payments of any tax credits you’re entitled to receive. The amounts you’re paid under government assistance programs could also change.
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The information presented on this page is not a legal opinion or legal advice. This page explains in a general way the law that applies in Quebec. To obtain a legal opinion or legal advice on your personal situation, consult a legal professional.
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