Checklist: Dealing with Divorce

Dealing with a divorce involves more than the emotional complications. Your financial situation is also likely to change considerably. You can reduce the stress of the situation by taking some of these steps:

  • Severe all unnecessary financial ties with the ex-spouse
  • Contact lenders and cancel all joint accounts and have new cards issued in just your name
  • Update your beneficiary information on retirement plans, investments, bank accounts and life insurance policies
  • Revise your Will, Power of Attorney and Medical Directives
  • Re-evaluate your insurance needs
  • Review your budget and evaluate your spending. Make changes based on your single income.
  • Adjust your retirement savings and plan on saving more. Consider that often retirement savings are divided up in divorce proceedings. Contribute to other retirement investments like IRA or annuities that offer tax deferral if you max out your employer sponsored savings plan.
  • Check on Social Security benefits available if you were married over 10 years.
  • Meet with a financial advisor during and after the divorce for planning and advice on how to split assets as well as changing your financial plan after the divorce.