Recently on the website Moving Forward Through Divorce, there was an article entitled “6 Smart Things to Do Before the Money Disappears.” This article chronicles financial actions a person should take in preparation for a divorce and contains useful information for divorces in Texas.

Financial preparation is crucial prior to filing for divorce in Texas. It is important to have knowledge about all financial accounts owned by you and your spouse. The article recommends having copies of at least the last three prior year’s tax returns accessible. Additionally, printing a copy of your own credit report can aid you in knowing exactly what outstanding debts are out there in your name. I advise all my clients at the beginning of the divorce process to run a credit check on themselves. More times than not my client will then become aware of a debt in their name that they had no idea about and which had been opened by their own spouse.

The article also recommends having your own credit card available in your own name. Many times at the beginning of the divorce process, one spouse will cancel the only credit card accessible to their spouse. However, having your own credit card takes away the financial control a spouse could potentially exert over you.

Finally, there are two actions that this article recommends a person take in order to maintain privacy. In Texas, a person should accomplish these tasks prior to either spouse filing for divorce as they are usually prohibited during the divorce process. The first would be to open your own bank account in your own name at a new bank. Use this account to set aside financial reserves for the divorce process. The second action to be taken would be to change your passwords, PIN numbers, and obtain a new email address. I recommend you do not use the family computer as it may be possible for your spouse to access your accounts and information.

Implementing these actions will better serve you when going through the divorce process and will expedite your ability to move forward financially.