- Protect your passwords. If someone is seeking a divorce, they need to remember to protect themselves. One of the first things I tell people is to go in and change your passwords. Even if you change your password, your spouse may be able to access your account by correctly answering your security questions. For example, your spouse often knows what your mother’s maiden name is, so you don’t necessarily have to answer that question of “what’s your mother’s maiden name” correctly. Instead maybe you want to give your father’s first name or something else in response to that question. Just make sure you remember what answer you give. Protect yourself when you’re changing your passwords and make sure that your spouse cannot get into your accounts.
- Plan for the day you don’t get along. Make sure that you are not putting information on your social media that your spouse can use against you. People going into a divorce often do not recognize that it is an adversarial process. Divorce is not friendly. I get a lot of people that come in and say, well, this is going to be agreed; we’re getting along. Maybe you are getting along right now, but you are not always going to get along and you have to plan for when you do not get along. I see my job as preparing you to make plans for when you do not get along. The most important thing you need to do when you are thinking about filing for divorce is plan for the day that you don’t get along
- Protect your money. You must separate your money. I see a lot of good people do crazy things. If you have joint accounts, you need to recognize that your husband or wife can go in and wipe out that entire account. People always think my husband or my wife would not do that. Well, I have seen people do that. If you don’t want to take all the money, that’s fine; take half the money. I have had clients tell me “Oh, no, my husband won’t do that.” Then they call me two days later after the husband finds out they filed and they tell me, “Well, he took all the money.”
I always suggest to people, if you’re going to file, take at least half of whatever money is in there to protect yourself because you do not know how your spouse is going to react. Make sure that you have something to live on in case they do get angry. Make sure that your direct deposit is not going into your joint account, because you do not want them to go in and take your paycheck right after you get paid.