Considering a divorce? Think about these financial issues first

Deciding to file for divorce from your spouse is an incredibly difficult decision to make. You didn’t need to come to the website of a family law attorney to tell you that but what you may be here for some advice on the subject. While the attorneys at the Law Office of Bryan Fagan pride ourselves on offering outstanding service to our clients, the fact is that we have seen a lot of good people go through tough times because he or she may not have been ready for a divorce.

The emotional aspects of a divorce are real and should not be marginalized in our discussion today. I would always recommend that you have someone in your life you can talk to about your family during the divorce. A counselor, therapist, psychiatrist or other professional is a great resource to have for peace of mind during the divorce itself.

However, the financial aspects of a divorce are what we are here to discuss in today’s blog post. The fact remains that being ready to initiate divorce proceedings against your spouse is only part of the process. Understanding where you are in terms of your finances and your ability to bounce back from your divorce as a single adult is just important if not more-so.

Let’s walk through some issues that I believe are of the utmost importance to consider in the weeks and months leading up to your divorce. While I cannot assure you that having these matters under control will guarantee your success both in your divorce and afterward, I can tell you that from my experience that these are issues that if not considered and handled correctly will almost assuredly sink your divorce from the very start.

Begin to gather financial documents prior to your divorce beginning

This means that you should have access to bank account statements, retirement plan statements, and your mortgage documentation. I’m not advising you to necessarily print out these forms and have them ready on your dining room table, but getting a few statements ready may not be a bad idea.

If your home computer is safe to trust you can always just save PDF files in order to email to your attorney when the time comes. If your home computer is shared with your spouse you can move them into the “Cloud” where your spouse cannot access them or allow a friend or family member to hang onto them.

Understanding what money you have in various accounts is important in that you may not be the spouse who keeps up with the finances of your family. If you’ve relied on your spouse to pay your bills and run your retirement accounts then this may be an eye-opening exercise for you to see just how financially sound your life is.

Organizing these documents is going to be important for your divorce, as well. Your attorney will be requesting documents of all sorts from you in order to learn about you and your case as well as in possible preparation for a hearing or trial down the line.

If you take the time to dig up these documents before your divorce you will save yourself time later. Also, your attorney will not have to work as hard to get these forms together- meaning you can save yourself in attorney’s fees as well.

Budget. Budget. Budget.

Does your family operate off of a monthly, written budget? The odds are that the answer to that question is, “No”. I say this only because the majority of families in our country are in debt or at best living paycheck to paycheck. By creating a budget for yourself you can understand exactly where every penny of your life- both on the income and “out-go” sides of the ledger- is going.

This will assist you in seeing what items are essential and which are discretionary. In the event of a money crunch in the future, the discretionary items can be cut out to trim the fat and allow you to live a little leaner and meaner. If you have debts to pay your attorney will provide you with advice whether it is wise to make payments towards that debt during the divorce or to sort it all out in your divorce settlement.

What do you intend to argue is your separate property?

The presumption in Texas is that all property is community property when it comes to a married couple. The burden is on whichever spouse is asserting a particular piece of property is their separate property to prove that it is so. Supposing that you owned property before your marriage, received the property as a gift during the marriage or inherited property you will need to have documentation that can validate your assertions.

For example, if you own the home that you are living in with your spouse the presumption will be that this house is community property. It could be, however, that you owned your home years before getting married. If this describes your situation then it may be wise for you to dig up whatever closing documents you can to have them ready in case it is required for you to do so. Sometimes it can get tricky to prove the origins of a piece of property, so having whatever documentation you can assist you and your attorney a great deal.

More tips on preparing for a divorce financially to be posted tomorrow

We have more to offer you in terms of advice on financially preparing for a divorce. We will post those thoughts tomorrow for you all.

In the meantime, if you have questions about divorce and money (or any other subject in family law), please do not hesitate to contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan today. A licensed family law attorney with our office is available six days a week to meet with you in a free of charge consultation. We can answer your questions and discuss with you the services that we provide to our clients.

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Other Articles you may be interested in:

  1. Financial Advice during a Divorce
  2. 12 Texas Custody & Conservatorship Battle Tips
  3. 8 Tips for Reducing the Cost of a Divorce in Texas
  4. 6 Tips for Getting a Free Divorce Consultation
  5. 6 Tips - On How to prepare for a Texas Divorce
  6. 3 Tips on Things You Shouldn't Do in a Texas Divorce
  7. 15 Quick Tips Regarding Filing for Divorce in Texas
  8. Roadmap of Basic Divorce Procedure in Texas
  9. Child Custody Basics in Texas
  10. 6 Mistakes that can Destroy Your Texas Divorce Case
  11. 10 Quick Tips About Parental Visitation
  12. Does it Matter who Files First in a Texas Divorce?

Law Office of Bryan Fagan | Houston, Texas 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 Houston, TX Divorce Lawyers right away to protect your rights.

Our divorce lawyers in Houston 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 Houston, Texas, Cypress, Klein, Humble, Kingwood, Tomball, The Woodlands, Houston, the FM 1960 area, or surrounding areas, including Harris County, Montgomery County, Liberty County, Chambers County, Galveston County, Brazoria County, Fort Bend County and Waller County.

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