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Points to remember in protecting assets in a Texas divorce

Texas couples who are in the process of ending a marriage or have already completed the divorce process need to be vigilant about their finances. Factors to consider are property division, bank accounts, assets, how property obtained during the marriage is allocated and more. Whether the planning for the divorce is underway, if it is in progress, or after it is completed, the spouses must make certain to take various steps to protect themselves.

Budgeting is one of the most important issues to pay attention to. This is not limited to basic monthly costs such as mortgage, electricity and other costs. Expenses like going on vacation, taking a weekend trip and costs for emergencies will arise. This needs to be considered to avoid accumulating debt on credit cards. For many couples, the assets are in both names. When the divorce is completed, it is wise to separate the finances. For example, a mortgage might be in the names of the spouses and the spouse who retains it will want to refinance and have the property in his or her own name. Bank accounts that were shared will need to be divided, and the spouses should open their own separate accounts.

When there are joint expenses, these should be changed. With a joint account, both spouses are legally responsible for debts. This is true even if the divorce agreement stipulates the opposite. Also important is to change any passwords and account names for joint entities. Credit grows in importance after the marriage is over. If a spouse was linked to the ex-spouse's credit, it might negatively affect the individual's credit. Getting one's own credit card is smart. Saving money for the future will help in all circumstances foreseen and unforeseen. Couples might have had an accountant or financial advisor looking after their finances. When there is a divorce, the individuals should consider another arrangement.

Beneficiaries will likely change once the marriage is over. To manage finances after the end of the marriage, the beneficiaries must be changed on the documents. Joint expenses, particularly if there are children, will come up. Insurance, schooling, extracurricular activities, vacations -- all will be factors in the situation. Those who are dealing with or have already finished their divorce must make sure to keep track of strategies for protecting assets. Having assistance from a legal professional can help with the process from beginning to end.

Source: 13newsnow.com, "9 things you should do after a divorce to save your finances," Janet Berry-Johnson, Jan. 19, 2017

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Attorney Christine K. Lincoln

Christine K. Lincoln offers sound counsel and legal services to protect clients and their families facing divorce and other family disputes.

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