Getting divorced

Divorce can be daunting. Successfully navigating its emotional and financial challenges takes patience, planning, and a trusted team. Start by getting organized.

Stay organized with these first steps

  • Gather your support team of trusted friends and family, in addition to legal and financial experts, to help you manage your divorce
  • Get copies of important documents such as tax returns, car registrations, and insurance policies
  • Read up on your state's divorce laws so you know what you can expect when you work with a mediator or lawyer

Use our document checklist (PDF)

Get 1:1 planning and guidance

We understand that divorce can be an overwhelming and emotionally difficult transition. Fidelity's financial professionals can help ensure you maintain a sound financial footing. We'll work with you to create an investment strategy that can help meet your new goals.

Important financial considerations during a divorce

Understand your housing costs

In addition to your mortgage, homeownership comes with a range of costs from utilities to property taxes. Make sure you're aware of all of those costs before making a decision on whether to keep your home.

Account type matters

When it comes to the value of accounts, pay particular attention to whether an account is taxable or tax advantaged, as that can impact the value. We can help with that.

Secure your own health insurance

If you're on your soon-to-be ex-spouse's insurance, it's a good idea to shop for coverage during the divorce process—you'll need to secure your own.

Webcast: Making confident decisions during divorce

Learn important tips for remaining financially stable throughout a divorce in this exclusive Fidelity webcast. A panel of financial, legal, and emotional experts help paint the "big picture" for divorce—answering important questions and giving you the confidence you need to move forward.

How are assets split?

One of the most important factors in your quality of life after divorce is how your shared assets are divided. That's why it's critical to work with a financial professional that can help you understand how these assets fit into the greater picture.

Most states follow the "common law" system. That means you retain sole ownership of any property you acquire during a marriage. But in community property states, any income or assets that can't be identified as separate property are likely to be considered equally owned. Hidden debt is a common surprise among divorcing couples: Even in non-community property states, divorcing spouses are often held jointly responsible for debt incurred through jointly issued credit cards or loans.

Read more about splitting assets

Understanding your assets during divorce

Common account-related tasks during divorce

Rebuilding your financial life

Make sure you still have an emergency fund with 3–6 months' of living expenses. If you don't, we have strategies to help you create one and adjust for any changes in your income or dependents.

Now's the time to revisit your expenses and determine whether your individual income will be enough to meet your needs. Your short- and long-term priorities will likely change.

Revisit your savings rate and retirement projection. Update your investment mix strategy so that it's based on your assets alone, not yours combined with your former spouse's.

Clarity begins with a conversation

Contact Fidelity today for 1:1 guidance during life's big decisions. We believe in making the complex, simpler, because we want you to be confident about the decisions you make—next week, next year, and beyond.