We have observed that is common for there to be a division of labor in
relationships in the
Texas divorce cases we have handled. This means that there often a spouse in the marriage
who has a more complete financial picture of the marriage than the other
spouse. Unfortunately, this often means that only one spouse knows what all theassets anddebts of the marriage are.
In this blog article, we will discuss how one of the most important steps
you can take when preparing for a
Texas divorce is start gathering financial information.
What Financial Information Should You Obtain Prior to a Divorce?
It is not uncommon for me to be asked during a
divorce consult what can be done to prepare for a divorce. I am also happy to explain
things that can be done to prepare. One of the things I encourage consults
to do is start gathering as much financial information ask they can when
they can. The list includes but is not limited to:
- Bank statements
- Checking account information
- Savings account information
- Retirement account statements
- 401(k) statements
- Pension information
- Loan information
- Credit card statements
- Property taxes
- Tax Returns
- Paystubs for both parties
- And any other financial information that may be relevant
What if I do not have access to any financial information?
If your spouse is the only one with access to the necessary information,
that is ok. This is not uncommon your
Houston divorce lawyer will be able to help obtain the information later. We encourage you to
get the information if possible because this normally cost effective and quicker.
However, the information can be obtained through a variety of methods including:
- Deeds can be obtained from the county clerk’s office
- Tax returns from the IRS
- Credit Card information, Bank Information and Mortgage Information can
all be obtained directly from financial institution
- Running a credit report can also be a good source of information
- From your spouse through their cooperation or through legal discovery
Create a Budget
It is a good idea to start working on a budget. Once you are divorced generally
financial income will be more limited so it is a good idea to start preparing
to live only on your individual income.
Some things to consider in your budget include:
Will you be receiving
- Paying child support
- Can you afford the house?
- Can you afford your car?
- Are there other items or expenses you may need to get rid of?
Start saving for your divorce
It also a good idea to start saving for your
divorce as much as possible. When the divorce starts, there are generally not
any orders in place saying what you can and cannot do. This can be problematic
if you and your spouse are not cooperating and you do not have any access to money.
If you can have at least 3 months of expense money or more set aside this
can help you get through the early part of the divorce until there can
be hearing in front of a judge for Temporary Orders if needed.
Somethings you can do to help prepare for divorce in regards to saving include:
- Opening a separate bank account that only you have access
- Take half or more of the money out of any joint bank accounts (you may
want to be careful on timing this one you probably will only get to this once)
- Open credit cards in just your name. This can help establish your credit
if you do not have any as well as provide you with emergency money should
you need it.
- Take half or more of any Tax refunds from any jointly filed tax returns
Consider Closing or Removing Spouse from any Joint Credit Cards
If your spouse is a signatory to any of your credit cards is often a good
idea to remove them. On more than one of my cases a spouse has maxed out
credit cards. If your spouse is only the signatory and not jointly responsible
for the debt this can leave you holding the bag to the credit card company.
This can often be even out during the divorce but can be problematic while the
divorce is ongoing. If you are concerned that your spouse may use your financial information
to obtain money using your name it would be a good idea to join a credit
Get a Post Office BOX
Many of my clients have opened post office boxes to receive mail. This
is very helpful you are still living in the same house as your spouse.
You would not be the first spouse I have represented whose ex has diverted
or intercepted their mail.
Having another location to receive mail can help protect your confidentiality,
privacy, and avoid inconvenience of not receiving your mail.
Remember before the Divorce is Filed there are No Court Orders
During the planning stages of a
Texas divorce there are no court orders from keeping you or your spouse on how you handle
financial matters or what changes you can make regarding:
- Your will
- Beneficiaries on any financial accounts or life insurance policies
- Financial accounts etc.
It is a good to think through things carefully and plan accordingly.
If you want to know more about what you can do,
CLICK the button below to get your
“16 Steps to Help You Plan & Prepare for Your Texas Divorce”
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Law Office of Bryan Fagan | Spring Divorce Lawyers
The Law Office of Bryan Fagan routinely handles matters that affect children
and families. If you have questions regarding
divorce, it's important to speak with one of our
Spring, TX Divorce Lawyers right away to protect your rights.
divorce lawyers in Spring TX are skilled at listening to your goals during this trying process and
developing a strategy to meet those goals.
Contact Law Office of Bryan Fagan by calling (281) 810-9760 or submit your contact information in our online
form. The Law Office of Bryan Fagan handles
Divorce cases in Spring, Texas,
The Woodlands, the FM 1960 area, or surrounding areas, including
Fort Bend County and