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How you can protect yourself during divorce proceedings

It goes without saying that the decision to divorce should never be made lightly. Indeed, legal experts almost universally agree that those people who arrive at this major life decision via careful deliberation and thoughtful analysis typically fare better -- in nearly all aspects of divorce -- than those who make it in the heat of the moment.

Given this importance of careful deliberation and thoughtful analysis, are there certain steps that spouses can take to protect themselves immediately before or after filing for divorce?

Interestingly, an experienced family law attorney/author recently penned a column discussing this very issue.

According to attorney-author Margaret Klaw, there are three steps that people can take to protect themselves during a divorce:

Secure employment: According to Klaw, soon-to-be divorced spouses will do themselves a tremendous favor by having a job that allows them to cover basic living expenses in place before filing for divorce. She states that in many households a parent gives up their career to raise children, effectively leaving the household with only one income. This can prove disastrous, she argues, as divvying up only one income will invariably result in a lower living standard for all parties -- including children -- and, perhaps more significantly, can create unnecessary anxiety.

Having employment in place, she says, frees a spouse from this potentially crippling financial anxiety, allowing then to focus on the divorce from a different -- and decidedly more balanced -- perspective. Furthermore, she states that it creates a more level playing field and equalizes the power dynamic, as both spouses know they are not necessarily reliant on the other to pay the rent or put food on the table.

What are your thoughts on this idea? Based on your own experience, do you agree that securing employment/having a job in place can make a significant difference in a divorce?   

To be continued ...

If you would like to learn more about divorce, property division, spousal maintenance, child custody or other family law issues here in Texas, consider speaking with a dedicated and determined legal professional.

Source: The Wall Street Journal, "Three ways to protect yourself in a divorce," Margaret Klaw, Jan. 29, 2014

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