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Ensuring financial security during a divorce

Many Texas women who have gone through the contentious process of dividing assets during a divorce wish they had handled things differently during the marriage. Since property division can be a complicated process, especially if one of the spouses handled most of the family's finances, many women report wishing that they had known more about their husband's business, financial situation and other financial assets.

In order to maintain their financial independence, some women have considered opening a secret bank account that their husbands may not know about. There are a few pros and cons to consider before establishing such an account, however. One of the advantages is that a woman can maintain control of her financial situation and not be left in a bind should the marriage fall apart. In many cases, one spouse will empty a joint bank account as a retaliative action in the event of a divorce, leaving the other with little to no resources to hire his or her own legal representation. In this situation, it can be empowering to have money set aside that the other partner does not have access to.

In other circumstances, however, having a secret bank account could hurt the integrity of the marriage. If one partner finds out about the other's secret money, it could destroy trust in the relationship. However, this can be avoided by drafting a prenuptial agreement before the marriage determining the division of assets should the marriage fall apart. Many couples have also drafted post-nuptial agreements after getting married that determine the terms of a potential divorce in order to avoid expensive litigation in the future.

Working with a skilled family law attorney can help women determine the best path to a financially secure future regardless of her marital status. Couples can also work with their attorneys to draft pre- and post-nuptial agreements in order to avoid costly and emotionally stressful litigation during a divorce.

Source: Forbes, "Pros And Cons Of Keeping A Secret Fund In Case You Divorce," Jeff Landers, Feb. 14, 2013

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