We know that divorce can have a significant impact on your finances. Many may be curious about how divorce will affect their financial situations. Thus, it is vital to understand the potential implications to better manage your finances should an unforeseen event happen.
These are some common shared assets/debts that couples may have.

Mortgage Loan

The mortgage loan is usually the largest debt that the couple may have. The handling of the mortgage loan may vary depending on various conditions.

Generally, both you and your spouse will still be responsible for the mortgage loan. If both you and your spouse have decided to sell the property, the mortgage loan will be deducted from the sales proceeds. If either of you are retaining the property, the party keeping the property may refinance the property under his/her own name.

If you are going to take over the property with an outstanding mortgage loan, it is essential to ensure that the bank will be able to continue to provide you with the loan based on the change in the borrower.

If the other agrees to continue with the mortgage repayment, it will be good to have him commit in writing to the responsibility to continue the repayment. In addition, do remember to get him insured for the outstanding mortgage loan so that his death or disability will not affect the mortgage repayment.

If you are solely responsible for the mortgage loan repayment, do remember to insure yourself for the outstanding mortgage loan.


It is never wise to act as a guarantor. However, in the course of marriage, it is common for the spouse to act as a guarantor for the other spouse’s bank facilities.

Ideally, it’s advisable to avoid joint borrowing with your spouse, particularly if they already have other bank facilities at the same bank. Similarly, if your spouse has existing bank loans, it’s best not to have joint borrowing with them at that same bank.


During the happy days, couples may have a common goal to grow their wealth via investments. The question would be, are the investments held in a joint account with your spouse, or did you invest the funds in one account (say your spouse’s account)? The investments may be subject to matrimonial division if they are held in a joint account. On the other hand, if you have transferred your funds to your spouse’s investment account, do you have evidence that the funds belong to you? These are the typical issues faced when the couple goes their separate ways.

Separating investments from inherited or before-marriage funds is the key to divorce planning. You wouldn’t want inherited funds from parents and loved ones to be categorized as matrimonial assets. Similarly, you will not want your savings accumulated before marriage to be included in the matrimonial assets. It’s crucial to segregate and keep these distinctions clear.

Bank Accounts

Some couples may pool their finances together in a joint bank account as it provides greater transparency. Both parties can keep track of the expenses and spending habits. However, problems may arise when the couple are parting ways. What happens to our joint recurring expenses? Will my spouse be contributing to it?

It is essential to understand that funds in the joint account may form part of the matrimonial assets subject to division. As such, if you are the primary contributor to the joint bank account, the funds in the joint account will be divided between you and your spouse.

If you have funds from inheritance or before marriage, it should never be included in the joint account. Ideally, it should be a personal account, not used for family expenses.

If you have funds from your parents or loved ones for your safekeeping, remember to have a record and proof that these funds are not yours.


Most couples purchase a property together when they are committed to building a life together. It is common for the property to be held under joint tenancy. However, issues may occur when they are divorced or planning for a divorce. The question would be, what happens to the property after divorce?

These are some of the common concerns faced by married couples.

Selling the Property Retaining the Property
Am I eligible to sell the property? Do I qualify to retain the property under the single scheme? Applicable to HDB only.
Where do I stay after selling the property? Who will service the monthly loan installment?
If I am retaining the property, do I have sufficient funds to buy over my spouse’s share of the property?

Ideally, the property may be sold, and the sale proceeds distributed equally between the couple. But what if the property has not attained the Minimum Occupation Period (MOP) in the case of an HDB property?

Property held in joint tenancy typically implies equal ownership between spouses. However, the actual contributions made towards acquiring the property may differ. It’s crucial to maintain documentation of your individual contributions.

On the other hand, if you’ve bought a property with your spouse under tenancy in common, the property share and individual contributions might not align proportionally. Keeping a record of your specific contribution is essential.

You or your spouse might have acquired property solely in one’s name, particularly in recent years, due to Additional Buyer’s Stamp Duty (ABSD) considerations. However, the funds used for the purchase might not solely belong to the listed property owner; both of you might have contributed. Hence, maintaining a record of your respective contributions is crucial.


Insurance is now frequently debated whether it is considered a matrimonial asset. Unlike earlier times, insurance can constitute a significant part of an individual’s assets, particularly with the advent of jumbo policies, investment-linked plans, and annuities.

An insurance policy with a nomination made to a spouse and/or children prior to September 2009 is deemed a trust nomination. This nomination remains irrevocable unless the trustee provides consent. Consequently, these policies are not considered part of your matrimonial assets.

Similarly, insurance policies with irrevocable nominations made after September 2009 also remain separate from your matrimonial assets.

If you’re going through a divorce, it’s essential to address insurance policies with irrevocable nominations to ensure you have control over them after the divorce.

Insurance policies acquired before marriage may not constitute a part of your matrimonial assets. However, policies obtained after marriage are likely to be considered matrimonial assets.

Therefore, it’s crucial to arrange your insurance policies in a manner that prevents them from being classified as part of your matrimonial assets.

During divorce settlement discussions, you can consider having your spouse acquire insurance and designate either you or the children as beneficiaries. This arrangement would provide financial security for you and your children in the event of your spouse’s passing.

Retirement Planning

With the awareness of retirement planning, you and your spouse may have started retirement planning before or during marriage. The divorce may affect the retirement planning that you have planned for. The funds accumulated up to the divorce date are typically considered matrimonial assets and are subject to division between you and your spouse.

It is vital to reassess your retirement needs, particularly if you will be a single parent after the divorce. Retirement planning is crucial, as relying on your children to support you for retirement may not be a dependable strategy.

Regardless of marital status, planning and making informed decisions that protect your financial interests and support your long-term goals is essential. Financial Planning before, during, and after divorce lets you better understand your rights and options. It helps protect your assets and build a secure financial future. Most importantly, understanding the potential implications before you co-mingled your assets with your spouse may minimise the struggle when you split up.

How can financial planning help you?

  • Evaluate and review your current financial needs and situations.

  • Determine your current and future financial position.

  • Identify the possible changes in your finances, i.e., from one household to two separate households.

  • Weigh the impact of differences between your finances before and after divorce.

  • Develop a backup plan to adapt to future financial needs and preferences.

  • Explore different tools to achieve long-term financial goals.

In summary, financial planning involves evaluating your current financial situation, developing strategies, and implementing solutions to achieve financial security, regardless of life uncertainties. Financial planning after divorce can be complex, especially when you depend on your ex-spouse before deciding to split ways. Therefore, it is critical to reevaluate your financial position, factor in additional expenses that may be incurred after divorce, and chart a proper financial plan for the future.


This content is meant for information purposes or reference only and is not to be relied upon as professional or legal advice. This content does not constitute either advice or an offer or an invitation to offer to acquire, dispose of, subscribe for, or underwrite any of the financial instruments described herein.

While we have taken care to check the source of information, we cannot guarantee that the information is accurate, complete, or will suit your needs. You should seek advice from an attorney or professional who will be able to provide you with the relevant advice before you make any decision.

All details such as names, characters, places, companies and scenarios are fictitious. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, persons living or dead is entirely coincidental.