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Barbara L. Jouette, Attorney, P.C.
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Like any major decision in life, plan for your divorce

Going to college, getting married, buying a house, choosing private or public schools for your children, how much to put away or invest, all of these have an aspect of financial planning involved and are decisions and events not to be taken lightly. The same should be said about your divorce.

If you have decided a divorce is the best remedy to your current marital situation, you should plan financially for your divorce and its ramifications.

A good starting point is printing out your detailed credit reports. This way, if balances are run up by your spouse for reasons of retaliation, it can be easily shown as an uncommon expense and not expenses you initiated.

You should also budget for a divorce and plan for separation. Do you have enough money to cover living separately? To this effect, make sure you have a card exclusively in your name. It may be wise to freeze joint credit and bank cards, change passwords on any private accounts and move to online statements, so they are not coming by mail, accessible to your spouse.

It is also very important to make a record of everything you own. Take photos of material assets like artwork, jewelry, appliances and other valuables. Include in your record keeping your debts, your assets, and your retirement and savings accounts. Compile, at least, three years of tax returns as well. Once you are separated and things are boxed and moved, it may become increasingly difficult to maintain organization and locate necessary documents.

While you may be wise to set up private accounts and save your own money, don't ever give in to the temptation to hide or fail to disclose any assets. If they are discovered and introduced into the divorce, they could be grounds for fraud and may paint you in a negative light moving forward.

Consulting with a Texas divorce attorney may be a very wise step in the planning phase as he or she may be able to better direct you based upon your specific circumstances.

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