This blog post is second in an installment of two articles intended to provide some assistance to people who are planning for a divorce in the near future. Part One of the series provided advice in regard to subjects ranging from:
- finances to
- organizational techniques to your
In Part Two we will discuss additional pieces of advice in regard to your finances as well as strategic decision-making techniques that will stand to benefit you both now and later in your divorce.
Change your Passwords and PIN numbers
This is a piece of advice that isn’t hard to implement, but it can be tedious. However- if you care about your security and want peace of mind when it comes to your life I would recommend you follow it.
Most of us have two or even one password that we use for bank account access, email and other online applications.
If you plan on filing for a divorce it is possible that your spouse (now your soon to be ex-spouse) may consider your private information to be fair game in terms of access. It is a smart decision to change passwords to your:
- online accounts
- retirement accounts
- social media, etc.
My advice would be to not use the tried and true method of “dog name plus sequential numbers” as your password either.
Use a random assortment of numbers, letters and symbols and create a new password for each website you need access to.
Open up a separate E-Mail Account
How will you remember all those passwords, you may be asking? It would not hurt to create a new email address (one your spouse does not know about) to store information and communicate with your Texas divorce lawyer on.
If you and your spouse have email addresses or cell phones that allow mutual access “to the cloud” it would make sense to remove any sensitive information you have in the cloud and to store it in a separate account.
That’s not to say that your spouse can never get access to it (if, for instance, she was to serve you with discovery during the divorce) but it offers you a more secure location to proceed from.
Protect your Credit and Request a Credit Report
A lot of us have credit cards that bear our name only but that our spouse is an authorized user of. An authorized user means that the person designated as such can use the card for purchases but is not responsible to the lender for the debts.
If this seems like a “having your cake and eating it to” type set up that’s because it is. Once you have hired a Houston divorce attorney and your divorce is imminent it is a good idea to remove your spouse as an authorized user on any credit card.
Additionally, it would serve you well to request a copy of your credit score and credit history at the outset of your Texas divorce. There are ways to make this request that doesn’t cost you any money and the benefit to doing so can be enormous.
For instance, many clients at the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC have come to learn that your spouse had been using their name and credit to take out loans, open up credit card accounts and do other financial activity with their knowledge.
This is good to know sooner rather than later because any debts incurred in your name to benefit another person should not be your responsibility. However- if you only become aware of the debt after the divorce is completed it will be much more difficult to address this situation.
Update your beneficiaries and have a new Will drafted
If you are married it is likely that your spouse is the person named as a beneficiary on financial assets ranging from life insurance policies to investment accounts. Assuming that you do not want your soon to be ex-spouse to inherit these items upon your passing away, it is a good practice to review any documents that name your spouse as the beneficiary and to update those immediately.
The same concept applies to your Will. If you have a Will it is likely that your spouse stands to inherit much of your estate from you whenever the time is that you pass away.
Update your will to reflect the desired recipients of property and assets that you will own after the divorce is finalized. If you do not have a Will our advice is to have one drafted. This is important because if you die without a Will before the divorce is finalized your spouse stands to inherit most of your estate.
I will take this opportunity to note that the attorneys with the Law Office of Bryan Fagan are able to assist clients with the drafting of their Wills. If this is a service you are interested in do not hesitate to contact our office today to schedule an appointment with one of our attorneys to learn more about the process and to get the ball rolling.
Have a specific plan when it comes to custody of your children
Like most parents, you probably have concerns regarding your children as you begin to contemplate a divorce. Worrying, however, does not accomplish anything. Planning does.
Take steps to put a plan into action for getting what you want in a custody arrangement for your children. It is not enough to believe you are the “better parent” or that your spouse is “unfit” in some particular way. Building a case for custody is no different than building a case for anything else. Planning your testimony, collecting relevant documents and communicating your objectives to your divorce attorney are critical to achieving a desired outcome in regard to child custody during a divorce.
Experienced Representation + Planning Ahead – a good start to any divorce in Texas
While no person (attorneys included) can guarantee a particular result in a divorce case, you can give yourself a leg up by preparing well in advance and choosing an attorney that can act as an effective advocate for you. The attorneys with the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC represent clients throughout southeast Texas and are prepared to help you as well.
We hope that this series of articles on pre-divorce advice was helpful to you. A divorce is difficult enough, no matter the circumstances. Please contact our office with any questions and to learn more about our Houston divorce attorneys and how we can assist you and your family during this difficult time.
If you want to know more about what you can do, CLICK the button below to get your FREE E-book: “16 Steps to Help You Plan & Prepare for Your Texas Divorce”
Other Articles you may be interested in:
- Getting Ready for Divorce in 2017 in Texas: Part One of a Two Part Series
- Dividing Property in a Texas Divorce - The Just and Right Division
- Why is Separate Property Important and How to Keep it Separate in a Texas Divorce?
- What Wikipedia Can’t Tell you About Texas Divorce and Marital Property Division
- Texas Divorce Property Division Enforcement
- Separate Property in a Texas Divorce?
- Does it Matter Whose Name is on Title or Deed of Property in a Divorce in Texas?
- Is Social Security Considered Separate Property in a Texas Divorce
- Business Owners and Business Assets in a Texas Divorce
- What to do when your divorce decree does not include a marital asset?
Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC | Spring Divorce Lawyers
The Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC routinely handles matters that affect children and families. If you have questions regarding divorce, it's important to speak with one of our Spring, TX Divorce Lawyers right away to protect your rights.
Our divorce lawyers in Spring TX are skilled at listening to your goals during this trying process and developing a strategy to meet those goals. Contact Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC by calling (281) 810-9760 or submit your contact information in our online form. The Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC handles Divorce cases in Spring, Texas, Cypress, Spring, Klein, Humble, Kingwood, Tomball, The Woodlands, the FM 1960 area, or surrounding areas, including Harris County, Montgomery County, Liberty County, Chambers County, Galveston County, Brazoria County, Fort Bend County and Waller County.