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During divorce, how can you protect your own assets?

Are you afraid that your spouse may try to take assets that should go to you during a divorce? Once you've decided to split up, this is probably one of the main things you're thinking about -- and perhaps the only thing, if you don't have children.

One thing you should do right away is to go through and switch up all of your passwords. Leave no stone unturned. Change the passwords for your bank accounts, investment portfolios, and any other online access to funds. Alter the passwords to your email and social media accounts. Change the passwords for your credit card accounts and change the PIN for your debit card.

Another thing you should do is to consider whether or not your spouse has already been hiding assets. Are there strange withdrawals on the bank account records? Did he or she recently give cash "gifts" to friends and family members? Investigate all of this as soon as you can so that money isn't stashed away and then not reported.

Furthermore, though it's perhaps not as urgent, you want to go through and update anything that would pass your assets on if you pass away. For example, you may want to update your will to take your spouse out, and you can update the beneficiaries on things like retirement funds and life insurance policies.

Property division can be a very high-conflict area in divorce, especially if you think your spouse is trying to take advantage of you. Be proactive, know what rights you have, and take action to protect any and all assets.

Source: Lifehack, "7 Ways To Protect Your Assets During A Divorce," Jacqueline Cao, accessed Dec. 09, 2016

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