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Changing Your Will to Favour Your Children After Divorce

By: Chris Nickson - Updated: 17 Feb 2021 | comments*Discuss
Separated Dad Will Former Partner House

Do you have a will? You should have. It’s your way of making your wishes known and distributing your property and assets after your death and as such, it’s a very important item.

If you’re married or with a partner and own a house and have children, then you definitely should have a will. When your circumstances change and you divorce or separate from your partner, you need to remember to change your will, otherwise on your death, your ex-partner could receive everything you listed in your old will.

Things to Consider When Changing Your Will

You need to look at your assets, everything you own. After splitting with a partner, the chances are you’ll have a lot less than you did before. In some cases, it might feel that you have next to nothing, and certainly very little to leave anyone. However, you want to provide for your children in the event of your death, so you need to see your solicitor and make changes to ensure they will inherit whatever you have. Remember, too, that assets aren’t all material; they can include heirlooms, family photographs and memorabilia, which are things you want your children to have and by which they remember you.

If, say, you’ve bought a house or flat, make sure it goes to your children (if you have more than one child, spread it equally between them. If they’re under 18, it will need to be held in trust for them until they come of age). The same is true for all your financial assets – have them held in trust until your children are old enough. This has the effect of making sure your ex-partner can’t touch them.

The chances are that under your old will, your ex would have been the executor of your estate. Obviously, you’ll need to change that. If your children are over 18, you can appoint them as executors, although consult them first. It’s a relatively simple procedure, and if you’re not sure, your solicitor will be able to advise you on the mechanics and wording.

If You Find a New Partner

Moving in with, or marrying, a new partner is another huge change in your circumstances, and one that will require a new will. However, much as you love this new person in your life (and possibly any children she already has, as well as any you may have together), don’t forget your own children. Be equitable in the way you leave your assets.

The Act of Changing Your Will

The sheer act of changing your will is an admission that things have changed and that you’ve moved on. Don’t be afraid to consult with your solicitor about the best way to do it – after all, he has the legal knowledge, and you’re paying for his expertise.

Depending on their ages, there’s no need to tell your children what you’ve done. In many instances, in fact, it’s better to say nothing. Your children might only worry that you’re going to die soon, and that one of the pillars of their lives will be removed. With older children, explaining things can be good – and important, if they’re adults can also be executors for you.

Check out the Separated Dads Forum... It's a great resource where you can ask for advice on topics including Child Access, Maintenance, CAFCASS, Fathers Rights, Court, Behaviour or simply to have a chat with other dads.

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you never sign up for this when you fall in love, marry and be blessed with even more magic -your children! 30 plus years of commitment, building a successful business and sacrificing the times seeing them develop./ For what?? THIS- Burnout, depression, shafted all in the name and belief you are to support that whole dream and happy ever after. if it wasn't for my children I would have been shortlisting very little options. I would appreciate anyone's suggestions or advice if they have gone through this nightmare. And for the record, before other wives and grandparents submit their pennies worth. there always 2 sides to this sad and unfortunate position. be KIND and if that is not possible? stick your judgmental one-sided opinions where the sun struggles to shine which is pretty similar to acute depression and anxiety. regards and sympathy for all Dads.
sadlonelydad - 17-Feb-21 @ 1:38 AM
My daughter had what I belived to be supervised contact by his mum at his mums house due to state of his house no boiler dangerous kitchen faulty fuse box banned dog but it turns out she was only doing the handovers with me to make me believe contact was being supervised this came out from her sons mouth in ccourt and result to then having no contact we had to move because off harassment from this so called grandma who continue sending letters to my mums trying to manipulate me into letting her see my daughter when what she did worse than her sons she put his needs before her granddaughter baby at that
swifty kls - 17-Jan-15 @ 10:23 PM
I have my grandaughter living with me my daughter dropped her here and does not want her home and my grandaughter does not want to go home due to the way she was treated. Problem is I want to take a holiday and mum will not give me my grandaughter pass port can I or her farther apply for one it's sad if my granddaughter cannot come with us
Loo - 30-Jul-14 @ 10:38 PM
i have 2 grandaughters who i love very much. the eldest i reared for the first four years of her life only to be denied access to her when my son and his partner split up. bad enough as that was he only went and took up with another silly immature girl who had a baby girl to him and she is now nearly two and i haven't been allowed to see her from she was 4 months old. i thought becoming a nanny was one of the most wonderful things in the world but for me it has been heartbreaking.
ginny - 23-Feb-14 @ 4:07 PM
This makes mothers sound horrid! We are not all to blame, some of us have come from situations where it's the father who was an arse. It's much more damaging to a child over a longer period of time to be subjected to an arse. My ex once said to me before he drunkenly clambered into bed at 5am stoned and drunk 'It would be better for everyone if I was dead' and 3 yrs on after we've split? Yes he's alive and well causing just as much heartache as ever. Do I stop my kids from seeing him? No, they are realising for themselves what a waste of oxygen he is. The day they say they don't want to go, is the day they'll stay home. Safe and respected with their mother.
3sa - 28-Jun-13 @ 1:29 PM
15 April 2013Hello there and thanks for looking at this comment.In this matter, the CAFCASS officer Principal Registry London. His insubstantial report does not begin to grasp the circumstances, the report is inaccurate and with vast quantities of information missing. As a result of his report, there have instances of child neglect for my daughter, on going instances in some respects, and my daughter has been deprived of the health treatment she was receiving under the NHS at the local GP. Months later, with her mother and living overseas, she is still not well.Also neither I nor any of my daughter's relatives here have seen my daughter nor she me or them for over 20 months now. We were all together about once per month, and matters for my daughter were fine.CAFCASS has truly brought about a disaster for me, my daughter, relatives, and increasing numbers of people in communities here and family relatives overseas.Cafcass are obstructive and, now that I have obtained a copy of part of the file, much of the inaccurate and inadequate details used for the report are now available for show.
T Deg - 15-Apr-13 @ 6:34 PM
Question.I hav been separated for 20 years - never got round to divorcing - the house is in joint names not mortgaged - fully paid up solely by myself. I understand the my estranged would get the house should I pre-decease her. What can I leave to those I wish of my cash and possessions?
malplank - 2-Oct-12 @ 3:10 PM
I became a grand mother last year, and thought my life was looking up. Only to discover that the young woman involved in my son's life was only interested in having a baby. On the day of the baby's birth she told him she no longer wanted him, and moved to be closer to her mother's family, as she had been living with her step-dad and his new wife close to us.Her family are delighted at her, she has been able to gain a new flat in the town where her mother lives ,and has had no further contact with any of us.However, her interest now is csa. My question would be do these children have claims to our estate after our death? even with a will.
poppy - 10-Jul-12 @ 1:51 PM
It is heartbreaking to watch my son rejected by his daughter over and over through brainwashing by his ex.It is time something was done to help fathers and also grandparents.When a child has to write in secret that she loves her dad then surely this can be described as abuse by her mother. All you ever hear is the missing fathers, well I don;t beleive this to be the case, it would be more true to see the neglected fathers suffering parent alienation.
Fay - 31-May-12 @ 1:29 PM
I think it's unfair on grand parent as we have such a great bond with our granddaughter and she is so loved by everyone in the family we have done nothing raring and we are getting punish her and us I hope they are never in our shoes as it hurts so much not seeing her and doing the things we did some mums just very nasty and they get away with it we have south to give her and we are not aloud its been 10 weeks tomorrow we haven't seen her its like she has gone this little bundle off joy has gone andif we hadoney weay be in with a chance other wise you don't stand a chance I look after 4 and half days a week and had her over night offered as Xmas is coming it very hard for people like us when she wood be spending at our house with the hole family being nearly 2 years of age it's going very good time for and we are going to miss out its not fairy heart is breaking as I write this very sad time for all of us out there
Freeballs - 4-Nov-11 @ 4:50 PM
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