Break-ups

Image of female student walking

Breaking up with a partner is often a stressful and upsetting time. If you’re finding it difficult to cope, there is support out there. You can speak to:

If your studies are affected, we strongly recommend you speak to your personal tutor so that the University is aware of the problems you’re having. If you think your performance is suffering, you should submit extenuating circumstances.


If the Break Up Affects... Your Money

If your partner has been supporting you, you will need to consider how you will continue to fund your studies and support yourself going forward.

You should speak to the Student Funding Office about the impact of your break up on your student funding. You can also ask them about additional support which may be available from the Access to Learning Fund.

You will probably need to inform some (or all) of the following organisations about your new status/arrangements. They will be able to tell you what to do next:

  • your gas, electricity, water and any other utility (internet, phone, etc) companies
  • your landlord or letting agent
  • your mortgage lender
  • your bank or building society (if you have a joint account)
  • your council tax office
  • any hire purchase or credit companies you have accounts with
  • your benefits office
  • insurance companies (especially if you have joint policies)

If the Break Up Affects... Your Home

If you have been living together, your options are:

  • you stay put and your partner moves out
  • you move out and your partner stays in your house
  • you both move out and find new places to live
  • you stay living together, just not as a couple

It’s incredibly difficult to keep living together after breaking up, so the chances are that at least one of you will have to move out. If you live in private rented accommodation, you can speak to the University’s Accommodation Officeabout leaving your tenancy early. If you (or your partner) own your home, things can get tricky. If this is your situation, we recommend taking at least one of the following steps:

Shelter have a really useful guide to housing issues following a break up, here. You can also come and speak to a Just Ask adviser during any part of the process.


If the Break Up Affects... Your Children

You and your partner will need to decide how your children will be looked after going forward, and where they will live. Government advice on how to prepare children for separation, and next steps if you are separating, is available here.

You will need to arrange child maintenance. You and your partner can arrange this between you (if you can); if you can’t come to an agreement on this you can ask the Child Support Agency (“CSA”) or the courts to make arrangements for you. You can apply to the CSA here. If you need help completing the forms, or would like to discuss the process, a Just Ask adviser can support you.


If the Break Up Affects... Your Marriage or Civil Partnership

If you are married, you will need to get a divorce in order to dissolve the marriage. The Government has a useful guide to divorce here.

Most people worry about the expense and complexity of getting a divorce, but it is possible to do without instructing solicitors (see here for more details). If you decide that you do need legal representation, you may be eligible for Legal Aid. The gov.uk website  can tell you whether or not you are eligible for Legal Aid.

The process for dissolving a civil partnership is slightly different to divorce. The Government guide is here. If you need assistance filling out any of the forms required, a Just Ask adviser can support you.