Every divorce is different. It's often complicated and messy—but it can also be a bridge to a new you.
Whether you're going through it yourself or supporting a loved one who is, we're here to help you find the information you need to navigate the process. Here are some tips to help you or a loved one through a divorce.
1. Get organized
No matter where you are in the process, an important step is to organize and consolidate all your financial information. Start by listing all your accounts: bank accounts, brokerage, retirement, credit cards, mortgages, and any other loans. Next, do the same for all your sources of income.
Then gather documents for everything, including account statements, pay stubs, tax returns, and more. If it pertains to money, collect it for your records. It is better to have too much information than not enough. Having this information can aid you with any negotiations and help you feel more empowered and in control of your situation.
For more information about documents you may need as you work through your divorce, read our Divorce document checklist.
2. Surround yourself with teammates
It's easy to feel alone during a divorce. Make sure to surround yourself with trusted teammates—including professionals but also friends and family—who you can lean on for support.
You may find you need a lawyer, mediator, or both to help you with the divorce process. A financial professional can help you understand where you are right now, and also how any choices or negotiations you're considering could impact you in the future. If you and your soon-to-be ex own a home or other real estate, you may also consider consulting a realtor or appraiser.
Emotional support can be as important as financial and legal support. Don't be afraid to reach out to friends and family, or to consider working with a therapist. This is a time to ask for help.
3. Start planning for the rest of your life
Divorce is often filled with uncertainty—your finances are changing, your home life is changing, and it can be hard to picture your future. One thing you can do to help yourself feel more in control is to start planning for what your finances will look like after your divorce. You can alter that plan as your life changes, but having a financial roadmap for the future can help give you comfort. This can prove difficult to do alone, so consider connecting with a financial professional to help you chart your course.
For more tips on planning for life after divorce, read Viewpoints at Fidelity.com: 3 steps for going your own way after divorce and What you need to know about splitting assets in divorce.
4. Take care of yourself
This one, although the simplest, may feel like the hardest to prioritize: Be kind to yourself. Make sure to continue to do the small things that make you happy and contribute to your wellbeing. Take care of yourself physically, and find time to connect with people you love.
Some people may find divorce to be one of the most challenging experiences of their lives. Do whatever you need to do to feel grounded and centered in a time when everything may seem in flux.