Preparing for divorce

4 financial steps to prepare your finances for divorce

Going through divorce can be overwhelming and may change many aspects of life, especially finances.

The divorce process rarely follows a straight line, but these steps may help:

Step 1: Get organized and gather key financial documents

To prepare for the legal process, it’s important to gather your own copies of current and past financial statements to gain a full understanding of all the accounts you and your partner hold together, as well as individual accounts.

Some common documents may be related to your:

Step 2: Understand what you own and what you owe

Once you’ve gathered your key documents, determine what is owned, owed, and where changes may be necessary. Here are a few things to consider:

Step 3: Know what bills are due and protect your credit

If you and your spouse share credit accounts, you may also share that debt — no matter who does the buying.

Remember that on-time bill payments make up 35% of your credit score.1 To protect your credit history, if possible, determine who will pay what and closely monitor that progress. Set up account alerts2 to ensure no payments are missed.

It’s also wise to regularly monitor your credit report so you can spot any remaining accounts in your name, as you could be legally responsible for those debts as well.

Credit Close-Up® offers eligible Wells Fargo Online® customers complimentary access to their FICO® Score and credit monitoring alerts as well as personalized tips and insights.

Step 4: Create your go-forward budget

Since your income and expenses will likely change once your divorce is finalized, creating a new budget can help you feel more prepared.

Review current household expenses and identify items that could change such as childcare or insurance premiums that may increase post-divorce and ways to adjust.

If you need more help, our Budget Watch tool helps make it easier to set goals and notifies you when you’re nearing your spending limit.

Read more on this topic

Once you’re financially prepared for divorce, take further steps to protect your finances. Up next:

When to consider changing investment strategies

Thinking of buying or selling an investment? Asking these questions may help you make a rational decision.

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Adjusting your financial plan

Learn how to be flexible when circumstances change.

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Where to go for emergency funds

Explore tips to help access funds when you need them the most.

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If you’re looking for options, a local banker could help.

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