Starting a new relationship when in an IVA IVA Issue
Summary: Starting a new relationship when in an IVA - This article attempts to illustrate the impact of marriage/co-habitation on an IVA if it involves moving in with a new spouse/partner
Changes of circumstances
Moving in with someone (or have someone move in with you) certainly qualifies as a change of circumstances and the IVA supervisor would need to be informed. If you were co-habiting at the time the IVA was drawn up, then marriage would make no difference (except possibly to a name change). Nonetheless it would be appropriate to inform the supervisor of such a change of marital status. But the focus of this article is a change of actual living arrangements.
Ownership of debt
It is important to realise that in such a new relationship or living arrangements, the debts owned by one individual will not impact the other. There have been examples of people in an IVA not marrying/co-habiting simply because they fear their IVA will somehow extend to their partner. This is not the case.
It is fair to assume that 2 people living together will enable a sharing of bills. Even f the new spouse/partner is not earning a great deal or receiving benefits only, they can still make some proportionate contribution to the household bills. A new spouse/partner will not be asked to utilise any of their money to help towards the IVA payments. The debt as such, has nothing to do with them. However the assumption of shared bills will suggest that the one in the IVA is likely to have some further disposable income to offer within the IVA.
If the debtor in an IVA owns their property then this will have been borne in mind when the IVA was set up. Creditors will have a reasonable expectation that releasable equity will be offered to the IVA before remaining debt is written off at the end of the IVA. If a spouse/partner joins you in the house it may well be that this makes no difference to the asset. Similarly if you were to move into someone else's property you would not have a claim on their property. There are however questions relating to beneficial interest - e.g. a new spouse/partner may be contributing to the mortgage and may have a claim against the equity (especially the increased equity since they moved in). Therefore it is important to discuss any implications on any property of a changed relationship that affects living arrangements.