Four Steps to Prepare Your Finances for Divorce

Divorce is rarely easy, but getting financial paperwork in order, working with professionals and making tough decisions now can take some of the stress out of it.

A woman sits at the table in a motor home with a map spread out before her and her laptop open.
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Divorce can be emotionally difficult, especially when children, pets and other loved ones are involved in the split. Dividing up assets can add another level of stress. As any experienced divorce attorney will tell you, even the most amicable breakups can devolve into unpleasant legal battles as both parties lay claim to assets they jointly acquired over the course of their marriage.

That said, a messy financial disentanglement isn’t inevitable. If you’re facing the prospect of a divorce, one of the best things you can do for yourself is to get your financial house in order. Doing so will put you in a better position to negotiate with your soon-to-be ex and make the case for what’s reasonably owed to you. It won’t guarantee an amiable parting of ways — especially when you factor in the many other complexities of divorce — but it can help you reduce financial stress at a time when the rest of your life is in a state of transition.

Here are four steps to help you get started.

Marcy Keckler, CFP®, CRPC®
Senior Vice President, Financial Advice Strategy and Marketing, Ameriprise Financial

Marcy Keckler is the Senior Vice President, Financial Advice Strategy and Marketing at Ameriprise Financial. She leads the overall strategy for financial advice at the firm, including the Ameriprise Client Experience and Confident Retirement programs. Marcy has been with Ameriprise Financial (formerly American Express Financial Advisors) for more than 25 years in a variety of positions in financial planning, marketing and interactive development.