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Take control over personal finances during divorce

The end of a marriage marks a significant transition in the lives of Texas spouses. Disentangling two lives can be a challenge, especially when it comes to financial matters. Many spouses are fearful about their ability to maintain a high standard of living in the aftermath of a divorce, and are uncertain about how the process might affect their financial standing. The best way to tackle those fears is to take a proactive approach to personal financial management.

This process begins by gathering as much information as possible on the family's financial status. Begin by making a full assessment of all expenses and liabilities. Obtain statements for all accounts that are paid every month, including credit cards, utility bills and insurance payments.

Once that information is in hand, begin looking for areas in which savings might be possible. For example, couples who share auto insurance may pay a higher rate based on the value or type of vehicle driven by one spouse, or his or her driving record. In such cases, the spouse who has a better driving history or who drives a vehicle that is less expensive to insure can realize significant savings by finding their own coverage.

Another example comes in the form of monthly bills such as cell phones, Internet service or entertainment costs. In many cases, there are less expensive plans available for all of these services. Spouses should review the current expenses and determine if there are better options available. Often, service providers will offer reduced costs for new accounts, or a competitor will offer a great rate for customers who switch to their service.

Taking an active interest in the division of shared expenses has a number of benefits. Not only will doing so give spouses a better idea of the full range of family finances, it can also lead to significant savings, such as the examples outlined above. Best of all, jumping in and addressing financial matters in the early stages of divorce can give Texas spouses the confidence needed to assume full control over their financial future, which can relieve a great deal of stress within the divorce process.

Source: The Huffington Post, "What to Do When Divorce or Widowhood Puts You in Financial Control for the First Time", Michael Most, Sept. 23, 2015

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