Relationship breakdown

When your relationship breaks down, the emotional turmoil can mean you aren't thinking straight. Taking informed actions at the right time will help you and your partner work things out or start a new life apart.

Use this action plan to help you figure out what to do when your relationship is in trouble.

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Take steps to manage your relationship

Take action to mend your relationship or begin a new life apart. 

  • Read our guide to relationship breakdown

    If you haven't already, read our guide to find out more about the emotional and practical impact of a relationship breakdown.

  • Go and see a relationship counsellor

    Make the decision to go and see a relationship counsellor knowing that they can help you make your relationship work, but can also help be the catalyst that makes you realise it is time to consider splitting up.

    The charity Relate offers a range of counselling services. If you're a current or former bank employee we may be able to help you access these services.  

    If you're working your employee assistance programme (EAP) may be able to offer you relationship counselling. Check on your intranet or speak to someone in HR.
  • Consider using a mediation service

    Mediation differs from relationship counselling in that it is typically used by couples whose relationship has ended rather than by couples trying to improve their relationship.

    If you need help keeping things civil, especially if you have children, you might find it useful to get the help of a professional family mediator. Family mediators can help you reach decisions about who your children should live with, how they’ll stay in touch with their other parent, and how you’ll sort out any property or money issues. Read about how to access relationship mediation.
  • Prepare yourself for difficult conversations

    There may come a time when you and your partner need to talk about ending your relationship. This conversation will be difficult enough but if you have children, telling them can be one of the hardest things you have to do. By preparing for these difficult conversations you will be more likely to keep calm, be objective and be able to offer support where it’s needed.

    Read Relate's guide on preparing for difficult conversations.

  • Make a plan to deal with any shared debt

    Deal with any shared debts you have.

    If your relationship is ending or has ended, you may have shared or personal debts which need to be sorted. Look at the Money Advice Service advice on managing debt when a relationship ends.

  • Set up a budget

    Make a plan to manage your income and expenditure.

    This'll help minimise any stress you have about your future finances. To get tips and actions for doing this, read our guide on budgeting.

  • Work out your maintenance needs

    Work our what maintenance you need to pay or be paid.

    If you and your ex-partner were living together but not married, neither of you is obliged to support the other financially. If you were married, both of you can apply for maintenance from the other by voluntary agreement or through the courts.

    If you have children together, you’re both equally responsible for financially supporting them, whether you were married or not. If you had a civil partnership, this applies both to biological parents and to those who have parental responsibility. Go to the Child Support Agency for information on how to arrange child maintenance.

  • Get help to deal with any abuse or violence

    If your partner is abusive or violent, your priority is to ensure your own safety.

    If you're experiencing abuse, there are a number of free helplines you can call to get support, information and guidance over the phone. If you're a woman, call the 24-hour National Domestic Violence Helpline on 0808 2000 247. If you're a man, call the Men's Advice Line on 0808 801 0327 (Monday-Friday 9am-5pm). If you’re LGBT, call the National LGBT Domestic Abuse Helpline on 0800 999 5428 (10am-5pm Mon-Thur and 1pm-5pm Fri).

    If you're planning to leave your partner, read this guide from domestic abuse charity Refuge.

Next steps

Choose the actions that’ll help you mend your relationship or begin a new life apart. Add them to your to-do list and get started on taking your next steps.