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Texas Divorce and Prenuptial Agreement

4550 Post Oak Place, Suite 201 • Houston, Texas 77027-3139

Phone: 713-877-8800 • Fax: 713-877-1229

Practical Financial Tips for Those Undergoing a Divorce

A writer for Money Talk News recently discussed the financial difficulties her friend faced when going through a divorce. Her friend thought her divorce would go somewhat smoothly, but she found herself dealing with a lot of unexpected financial problems due to bank accounts, credit cards and insurance policies. Some of the advice from the article could help couples who divorce in 2012. If you have any additional suggestions, please add them to the comments below.

One suggestion is to separate bank accounts as soon as one side files for divorce. The woman’s friend did not want to do that because she did not want to appear bitter, but unfortunately her husband was not as thoughtful – he withdrew all of the money from their joint checking and linked savings account, leaving her without access to those funds. She could have opened up accounts in her own name, taken half of the money from the joint accounts and put it in her new accounts.

A second suggestion is to protect your credit. Get a copy of your credit reports from each of the three bureaus – Equifax, Experian and TransUnion. Remember that you have a different credit report and a different credit score for each bureau, so you need to see what is in each of them. Do this at the start of your divorce so you know your starting point. If you do not have any credit cards in your own name, it would be a good idea to open at least one now, since you and your ex-spouse might be closing or refinancing your joint cards. Additionally, remember that divorce itself does not affect joint credit card debt. If both names are on the card, you are both liable for the debt even after you divorce.

Finally, be careful of insurance policies. Make sure you know what policy covers whom, as you may need to get coverage on your own, particularly if your spouse cancels an existing policy (he or she may even do that without informing you, leaving you uninsured).

Have you recently divorced? What practical financial tips can you give to others who are going through one?

John K. Grubb & Associates, P.C. – Houston divorce attorneys

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