Tools of (and tricks to) the Trade


“I just recently separated from my wife and now she won’t let me have my personal belongings or tools I need for work. Is there an easy way to get them?’–L.D.

Good question, L.D.

If you are not legally divorced and the home is still owned or rented in both of your names, you are entitled to enter the residence. However, the best advice I can give is to call authorities to escort you there. You always want to protect yourself in these types of situations. The proper personnel can deescalate any angry situations. But most importantly, use the authorities as a reliable witness. Have the officer document exactly what you are removing from the premises so there are no questions, or allegations that you took a nonexistent 52″ tv, at a later date.


#callthecops #writethisdown #takealittlenote #canigetawitness


Make the Most of It: Show me the Money!

For many, marriage comes with an exclusive joint checking account.  During the course of marriage utilization of these accounts can be great for bill pay and getting an overall sense of your financial ins and outs. However, if you’re planning on making a split, you’re going to need your own bank account.

While many will stick with the same bank out of familiarity or habit, you may want to consider your options as you gain your new financial independence.  There currently are many options out there, but what you probably haven’t heard a lot about are interest bearing checking accounts.

With an interestbearing checking account, the bank pays you interest on the money in your account, much like it pays interest on a savings account. However, with a checking account you can also write checks or use debit cards, making it easy to access your money as needed for bills, purchases and so forth.

So if you’re going to open a new account, why not make the most of it? Banks’ interest rates are constantly updating, but a January 2018 review reveals options that pay up to 5%! While this may not seem like much, over time it will add up. And who couldn’t use a little extra money for attorney fees?writing-a-check-400x300

#interestchecking #showmethemoney #makethemostofit

The screenshot is the moneyshot

So you and your soon to be ex (STBX) have been communicating via text. All is good, right? Well, maybe not.

Let’s say you accidentally delete a pretty important convo. It’s a lot harder than you think to get text records from your phone company. Just shy of a subpoena from a judge (which isn’t likely to happen before the next lunar eclipse) you’re out of luck for getting those records.

So before you go and upgrade to the iPhoneX and don’t back up the cloud, take screenshots of anything you think could be beneficial in court. You’ll be thanking yourself (and me) later.

#screenshots #moneyshot #apicisworthathousandwords

Friends on Facebook?

How to approach social media and divorce can be tricky. Let’s face it, social media likely plays a large role in all our lives.

Dads Divorce cites that social media plays a role in 90% of cases of divorce.

So does this mean you should remain friends on social media in an attempt at an amicable separation?

The key factor to consider is referred to as oversharing. What are you posting on social media? Distasteful photos or posts are likely going to act against you. So if you don’t want to delete those photos from your bachelor party, you may want to deny your soon to be ex (STBX) (and/or his or her friends and family) access to them. However, there are two sides to the coin. Remaining close on social media allows you access to your ex’s possible indiscretions.

So what’s the answer? Your best bet is to keep it PG when it comes to social media while you’re going through the divorce process, regardless if you remain friends. So if you can keep it tame, use it to your advantage. You never know what you might come across.

Where’s the DD?

So where’s your DD? You may feel like you need a designated driver through this course, but this DD I’m referring to is your Direct Deposit?

Do you have any assets that aren’t really shared? While you may not get away with moving the monthly income from your employer, make sure any of your solo assets are being direct deposited to a new account.

A great example is military disability benefits. Jimmy was receiving $200 a month for a partial military disability. In the process of divorce he forgot to redirect the payments. The payments continued to go to his joint bank account even after the divorce was final. Despite contacting Veterans Affairs and an attorney, he was at a loss. His ex pocketed the money and never looked back. I guess she wanted the D.

#DirectDeposit #ShewantstheD

Who’s the Beneficiary?

Wait. What?

Something that can easily be overlooked in the beginning stages of divorce is updating your beneficiaries.

You’re getting a divorce = you don’t want your soon to be ex to still inherit all you’re worth in the event something happens to you.

So who should you change it to? Weigh carefully if you want your children to automatically become the new beneficiaries. If they’re under the age of 18, and unless you’ve set up a trust, chances are your ex will get control of the inheritance. Some choose to designate a parent or sibling but specify that they want the funds set aside for the kids. This is a good option if there is someone in your family you can rely on.

You’ll want to make sure you update everything possible: life insurance, investment accounts, pension etc. Most accounts have easily accessible beneficiary change forms online.

Unfortunately you’re stuck leaving your spouse as the beneficiary to any employer 401k plan, unless you can get him or her to sign over his or her rights. But don’t hold your breath on it.

And just remember, the likelihood of something happening to you is low, but the longer your divorce plays out, the more important this step becomes.

How to Communicate

So communication may not have been one of the strong suits in your marriage, but now, more than ever, is the time to get it right!

To cover all your bases, you’re going to want everything documented, and because recording conversations in most instances is illegal, you’ll have to put down the phone. Start communicating as often as possible through text or email or any other method that will keep the conversation documented. You never know what facts you’ll need to provide your attorney with.

Just remember, when you adopt this way of communication, your soon to be ex will have documentation as well. Be careful what you say and always make sure what you’re saying is something you want in writing.

And just a tip….don’t forget the BCC option to add your attorney to conversations.