Divorce can be stressful, but you can avoid making a bad situation worse by ensuring your financial life is in order. Here are some steps to take if it happens to you or someone you know:

  1. Make a list of your assets and debt and divide jointly owned items.
  2. Notify creditors that you will no longer be responsible for your spouse’s debts.
  3. Close joint bank and credit card accounts, and pay off any existing balances.
  4. Open new bank and credit accounts in your name, or update any authorizations on existing accounts.
  5. Request a Social Security statement for yourself and your spouse at ssa.gov.
  6. Decide whether one of you will keep your current residence, and take appropriate next steps.
  7. Collect tax records for property you may receive in the divorce.
  8. Gather copies of all financial records and tax returns; locate birth certificates, education records and other documents.
  9. If applicable, change your name on all your accounts and records, and update your Social Security card and driver’s license.
  10. Request extra copies of your divorce/separation agreement.
  11. Review your credit report for accuracy.
  12. Create or revise your will, living will, durable power of attorney, health power of attorney and trust.
  13. Work with your financial advisor to review your investments and retirement plan, and adjust as appropriate. Use our retirement calculator to learn more about the progress you're making.
  14. Review and update beneficiaries on your accounts and life insurance policies.
  15. Update financial plans for any children’s education expenses.

This checklist is just a starting point. Your financial advisor is available to assist you and help ensure your financial best interests remain a priority.

Important information:

Edward Jones, its employees and financial advisors are not estate planners and cannot provide tax or legal advice. You should consult your estate-planning attorney or qualified tax advisor regarding your situation.