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In this episode, we’re continuing the series on the top 10 divorce tips, and I want to go through tips number seven through 10. In the previous two episodes, I went through one through six, and now we’re going to go through the last four.

Tip number seven is keep your spouse from spying on you. What do I mean by this? Well, one of the things that’s really important, whether you’re planning for divorce or going through divorce is, or even after divorce, is making sure that your private information remains private. And that means you don’t necessarily want your spouse to have access to your emails or your computer or all the sensitive communications that are going on during the divorce process and afterwards.

And you want to start setting up your own independent online accounts so that you can keep that information private. And I don’t just mean online accounts, I also mean physical accounts as well.

So specifically is, I’ll start with some electronic things. So you’re going to want a different phone number. It’s not good when you see X, Y, Z Divorce Firm popping up on your phone and your phone bill. So if you can set up or even better yet, get a new phone just for divorce communications, that’s a good idea.

And the nice thing is, is that a smartphone these days is pretty cheap on Amazon or if you go into the store. And so you can get a phone for $25, $30.00 a month, and that allows you a new phone number, new way to communicate and a very private line for all of the various private things that go on during the divorce process.

I encourage you to consider getting a new computer. It’s worth it to get a new tablet or new computer. Also, not a very large investment these days, so you can surf, do all of the relative online things with privacy and not be tracked by your spouse.

Definitely get a new email address. If you use AOL, go to Gmail. If you use Gmail, go to Yahoo. If you use Yahoo, go to a different service. One of the things that happens all the time is your spouse may have access to your emails. And something that happens all the time with the phone is that your phone’s linked to an email account, so when you take a picture of a document or something, all of a sudden that picture shows up on all of your devices that your spouse is going to login to their pictures, and they’ll be saying, “Oh, new picture added.” You’ll have a picture of a retainer agreement or picture of a financial document or a picture of something else. And if you don’t have all of these things separated, you’re going to unintentionally be providing your spouse access to everything.

So non-online things is get your own bank account. If you are at a bank, like Bank of America, get an account at a different bank. Go to Chase, go to Citi Bank, go to whatever your local bank is, a bank that you don’t traditionally use. Because all too often, and I this every week, is where a bank teller starts sharing information about accounts they shouldn’t be sharing information on, because you’re still banking with your soon to be ex-spouse.

Get a new physical address. It’s very easy to set up a P.O. Box for mailing things or one of those mailboxes at a UPS store, very cheap, very easy to do. And you don’t have to keep all of these things permanently, but during the divorce process, very well worth doing.

And also monitor your credit report, just to make sure that there’s no new accounts being added or new cards being taken out, just making sure that you understand that you have all of the right information. So that’s tip number seven.

Tip number eight is avoid court, if you can. I talked about this recently in an interview that I’ll be sharing with you in a few episodes. But one of the things that you should try and avoid is don’t think that judges have your best interests in mind. Don’t think that you’re going to have lots of time in court. Don’t think that it’s the ideal place to get things resolved.

If you’re in a position where you can avoid going to court, going to trial, spending tons and tons of money, fighting it out till the bitter end, and also ending up with an even worse result, I would suggest you do that.

Sometimes court’s inevitable, and I talk about in my new book, some things about court that you should keep up with. But if any way that you can stay out of court and come to resolutions on issues, you will save time, money, emotional energy, and a lot of other from avoiding the court process.

Tip number nine is stay involved in your divorce process. This is an important tip, because a lot of times you’ll have this opinion, you would have spent hours searching for the best lawyer getting recommendations. You hire someone, maybe you hire the most expensive firm in town, or you hire the most aggressive person, or you hire whatever and you say, “All right, my lawyers got this.” Well that’s not true.

I say this all the time is, “You’re the CEO of your divorce process, and you have to make sure that you stay involved with every step along the way.” Now sometimes staying involved means checking in. You should be hearing from your various people that are helping you through the divorce process, every couple weeks to make sure you know your case is on track, and you’re not missing anything. Hopefully, they’re checking in with you, but if you don’t hear from them, all of us are busy people, definitely check-in. Make sure that things are going the way that you expect them to.

You have to be the project manager of your divorce, the CEO of your divorce, is make sure that all the things that are supposed to happen are happening. And sometimes things fall through the cracks, but if it does, it’s your job to make sure that you put them on track and continue to stay on track.

And the last point in the top 10 is get an experienced divorce attorney. I’ll be talking about this particular one in future episodes. Of course, I’ve talked about it on previous podcast episodes, but those are very important. It’s very important to have an attorney help you, even if it’s just for parts of the process. It may not be the whole thing.

So in summary, I’m just going to give you a quick recap of all 10 tips, and these are the must follow tips as you go through the divorce process.

One is, face reality head on. Two is, know you got this. Three is get organized, one of my favorite tips, and one of the most important ones. Four is, keep the big picture in mind. Number five is understand your expenses, also another favorite tip of mine. Number six is to create a marital history. Number seven is keep your spouse from spying from you. Number eight is avoid court if you can. Nine is make sure you stay involved in your divorce process. And ten is get an experienced attorney.

Thank you so much for listening to this series of episodes. Make sure you listen to all three. They’re very valuable, as you go through the divorce process and lots of great episodes coming for you soon.