10 Things Every Married Woman Should Know To Protect Themselves

1. Your husband can always change his mind with the modern lifestyle's around him.

  • If he does, your life can change in an instant.
  • Don't think divorce can't happen to you.
  • Length of marriage does not insulate you.

2. Know your family's finances inside and out Pay the bills.
  • Keep a record of the name and address of every savings, checking, retirement, and investment account. Even if you don't open up the mail, write down the information in the return address.
  • Keep a record of all income and expenses.

3. If your husband ever mentions separation or divorce to you, put your plan in place because you are playing catch up.
  • He's probably already taken steps to protect his finances.
  • Try to save your marriage if you want to, but protect yourself just in case.

4. Protect your credit.
  • Keep your credit rating up.
  • If you find yourself in a divorce, you will need good credit to rent an apartment or buy a new home or a car or any of the things that you will need when setting up a new household.

5. You must have your own money somewhere.
  • Your husband probably does.
  • If you are in a divorce, you will need money for attorney's fees.

6. Mental illness in high-achieving men often doesn't manifest itself until mid-life.
  • Normal coping strategies fail as life becomes more complex.
  • Be aware of the changes in behavior attributed to certain mental illness.
  • If something doesn't seem right, it probably isn't.

7. Encourage your husband to put as much money as possible into his company retirement plan.
  • This money leaves a paper trail and generally cannot be hidden.
  • Part of this money will be yours in the property settlement, and it may be the only pot of money available to you because he can spend down or hide other accounts.

8. Infidelity is not about you.
  • Don't beat yourself up or think that you are the reason he cheated.
  • Infidelity is about him and his choices; don't internalize his choices.
  • Don't think that you are undesirable; there are plenty of men out there who would love to have sex with you if that's what you wanted.

9. You deserve to be treated with kindness, respect and dignity at all times.
  • No one is perfect, but..
  • Mental abuse almost always comes before physical abuse.
  • If you think he's disrespecting you, you are right, because only you know how you feel.
  • Little slights are not insignificant, especially when they happen frequently.
  • Don't ignore your inner inklings

10. The only thing certain about alimony is that it's certain to end.

  • Many women think they will get alimony but a lot won't.
  • Alimony is discretionary, awarded by the court or in a settlement between parties.
  • Keep your resume and skills up to date, because if you have not been working outside of the home, you will most
  • likely have to do so after the divorce.
  • Alimony will end; it is only for a limited number of years.

Sheilah Vance is the author of newly released book Land Mines, has her own law firm in Philadelphia, and is the President and CEO of The Elevator Group publishing company. Vance is a graduate of Howard University and Georgetown University Law Center. She teaches education law at Villanova University Law School and serves as Executive Director of the Institute for Educational Equity and Opportunity in Washington, D.C. Vance has earned many accolades as an attorney and writer including the Woman of Distinction Award from the Barristers Association and the honor of having her first novel, Chasing the 400, as the first selection of the African American Museum of Philadelphia Book Club.

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