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Divorce or separation

A separation or a divorce is usually an intensely emotional time. There is a real risk of getting lost in the maze of formalities, both banking and administrative.

What happens to your banking assets?

Dans le cas d’une séparation ou d’un divorce, vous êtes amené(e) à prendre des décisions importantes relatives à votre habitation, vos crédits en cours et vos assurances. Des décisions qui impactent forcément l’état futur de vos finances. Votre Responsable de relation se tient à votre disposition pour vous aider à bien cerner les implications financières de vos choix. Il vous propose les formules les mieux adaptées pour faire face à votre nouvelle situation.

  • Protect your banking assets.

    In order to safeguard your assets, first make a list of the accounts for which you are the sole holder, a joint holder, or an authorised representative

    Sole account

    An account for which you are the sole holder is managed autonomously, independently of your matrimonial regime.

    This account operates under your sole signature and responsibility.

    If your spouse has a proxy on this account, you should revoke it to prevent any further transactions on his/her part.

    Joint account

    Do you have a joint account with your spouse?

    The operation of the account is governed by the terms and conditions.

    • Either the account operates under the joint signatures of both holders. Every transaction requires the signature of both holders.
    • Or the account operates under joint liability, i.e. by individual signature. Each account holder can access all sums or securities credited to the aforesaid account, with only his/her signature being required.

    Joint liability

    By contract, a joint account implies active and passive joint liability for the account holders.

    • Active joint liability: each joint holder can access all the funds in the account, even if only one holder has made deposits;
    • Passive joint liability: each joint holder is considered a debtor if the account goes overdrawn.

    What should be done?

    • You can ask for the account to be closed, as specified in the terms and conditions.
    • You may cancel the joint liability of the account at any time, in writing and without notice. In this case, the account will continue to operate under the joint signature of all the holders.
    • You can ask to be removed as a joint holder. You will be removed from the joint account, which turns into a sole account held by your spouse.

    NB: A joint account is often used to pay for household expenses. It may therefore have permanent standing orders or direct debits in place for paying recurring bills. Take this into account as you proceed.

    Your bank cards

    • If your spouse has a debit or credit card linked to your current account, you must terminate your spouse's card agreement with the bank. The card is then cancelled.
    • You may terminate your spouse's debit or credit card agreement directly through your relationship manager.

    Your safe-deposit box

    A safe-deposit box is subject to the same rules as a bank account.

    You are thus either:

    • The sole holder and may access the assets it contains as you please, regardless of your matrimonial regime. If your spouse has a proxy on a safe-deposit box in your name, you may cancel it at any time.
    • A joint holder with your spouse, and you each have a proxy. You can initiate a procedure to block access to the safe-deposit box. Access to the safe-deposit box is then blocked for all the holders.
    • An authorised representative for a safe-deposit box in the name of your spouse, by way of a proxy which he/she has given you. You cannot block access to the safe-deposit box, and your spouse is free to cancel your proxy at any time.

    Contact us

  • Resolve your loan and insurance issues.

    Other outstanding loans

    As with your mortgage, be sure to review your personal loans. The status of these loans is tied to your matrimonial status.

    For the legal regime:

    • You took out the loan in your name before or after the marriage. This loan is a personal debt by nature. You have sole liability for it.
    • You took out a loan with your spouse: it forms part of the joint debts. You are therefore both responsible for its repayment.

    For the separate ownership regime:

    • You took out the loan in your name. The debt is entirely yours.
    • You took out your personal loan in the name of both spouses. If the contract includes a joint liability clause, you are responsible for repaying the loan.

    For the universal community regime:

    • Even if the loan is personal, it forms part of the couple's universal community. Thus, your spouse is also responsible for its repayment.

    We recommend you review the status of your loans with your relationship manager. He/She will suggest the solution best suited to your situation and will take you through the issues you need to consider.

    Contact us

    Your home-related insurance

    There are two types of home-related insurance:

    • Mortgage protection insurance: discuss this with your relationship manager; he/she will adjust your contract to your new situation where necessary;
    • Home and family insurance: remember to inform your insurer of your new situation, so that any necessary adjustments are made.

    Contact us

    Other insurance

    We invite you to contact your insurance agent to review your current policies, and whether they should be adjusted to your new situation. What happens with your car insurance if the car belongs to both spouses? Who receives the premium refund if an insurance policy is cancelled in the middle of the year? Your relationship manager will help you decide these issues in your best interests.

    If you have a life insurance policy, you may change the beneficiary at any time. If your spouse is named as a beneficiary, you should ask your insurer to have the beneficiary changed.

    If your spouse is generically designated as a beneficiary in the insurance policy, your spouse at the time the policy liquidates will receive the payout.

    Contact us

    Your financial investments

    You are the sole owner of every financial investment or investment vehicle acquired in your name. Keep in mind that a divorce or separation is likely to entail significant expenses, requiring a supply of cash.

    Get in touch with your relationship manager before exiting investments early in order to secure cash. Depending on the investment, an early exit may entail significant costs as well as the foregoing of opportunities.

    Also review your current investments and determine, with your relationship manager, the most suitable strategy going forward.

    Contact us

  • Think about your children’s assets

    Youth savings account

    In theory, deposits in savings accounts, including interest, remain frozen until the holder's majority. Thus, neither spouse can withdraw funds from a minor's savings account.

    The bank may, but is not obliged to authorise early repayment of the holdings in the account if valid reasons are given, by means of a written request with the agreement of the legal representative(s). In this case, it is preferable to revoke the legal presumption of mutual consent between the spouses.

    Youth current account

    Your minor child, as the sole holder of his/her current account, has the exclusive right to carry out transactions from his/her account. Furthermore, a minor is not supposed to grant proxies on his/her accounts.

    Contact us

    Life insurance

    If both parents are policyholders, there are two possibilities:

    • The policy reaches its term, with no change in policyholders;
    • One of the two parents chooses to leave the policy. This requires the agreement of both policyholders. Exit by one of the parents results in the cancellation of the first policy and the creation of a new one. This operation may incur fees.

    Contact us

    Mortgage savings plan

    • If the child is under 15, both parents or the parent who has custody have/has the option of terminating the scheme early.
    • If the child is over 15, he/she has the exclusive power to terminate the scheme.

    Would you like to secure a better financial future for your children?

    Here are some ideas for how young people can save.

    “Billy” savings account

    By making regular deposits into this savings account, you help your child build savings from an early age, as well as learn about money and saving. The account is frozen until the child reaches majority. On top of being free of charge, a Billy savings account pays a preferential rate of interest.

    Contact us

    “Juvena” life assurance

    This modern investment taking the form of a life assurance policy will enable your child to draw on financial support when he/she embarks on his/her professional career. In addition, Juvena guarantees certain protection:

    • You retain control over the policy for its entire term;
    • You earn an attractive rate of return on your savings;
    • In the event of death, the insurance company pays the remaining premiums on your behalf.

    Wüstenrot mortgage savings plan

    This is a savings account which will host early contributions to your child's future home. In addition to this, it provides you with a number of benefits:

    • You benefit from an attractive interest rate on savings;
    • Savers pay no account custody charges until their 20th birthday;
    • You enjoy tax benefits.

    Contact us

  • Check-list

    Here is a list of things to consider when separating or divorcing.

    Banking issues

    • Joint bank accounts (current account, savings, securities)
    • Proxies on sole account
    • Bank cards with proxy on sole account
    • Payment of salary/pension/benefits
    • Transfers and standing orders
    • Safe-deposit box
    • Children's accounts
    • Mortgages
    • Other loans
    • Mortgage insurance
    • Life insurance
    • Home insurance
    • Family insurance
    • Car insurance

    Other financial issues

    • Spousal maintenance
    • Child support
    • Inheritance/will
    • Tax returns

    Other expenses associated with a divorce

    • Fees and charges for proceedings
    • Relocation expenses
    • Moving in expenses
    • Rent deposit

    Division of assets

    • Home
    • Movable assets
    • Car and sundry items
    • Artworks

    Children

    • Parental authority
    • Visitation and custody rights during the year
    • Visitation and custody rights during the school holidays
    • School fees
    • Medical and paramedical expenses
    • Leisure expenses

    Expert involvement

    • Mediator
    • Lawyer
    • Notary
    • Bank adviser

Useful Addresses