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6 Tips - On How to prepare for a Texas Divorce

After some consideration, you've decided to make one of the biggest decisions of your life and divorce your spouse. Whatever the motivating factors that led you to this choice, the fact remains that before you contact an attorney it would be in your best interest to come prepared for any meeting with information and documents that are relevant to the process in which you and your family are about to become involved in.

1) General Information

When I meet with a client, I tell them this is the "back of the baseball card" information: names, birthdays, social security numbers, date of the marriage, date the parties separated, etc. Information regarding the children of this marriage (and any previous marriages)- especially when those children are under 18 years old. The job you hold and the job your spouse holds and your incomes are important when it comes to considerations of child and spousal support.

2) Day to Day Living Expenses

This goes hand in hand with the income of each spouse that we just discussed. In order to make it through the divorce with minimal interruptions to the daily life of the parties and their children, it makes sense to let your attorney know of the expenses each party has, their assets/liabilities, and a little bit about your and your spouse's credit histories. If one party has an overwhelming amount of debt your attorney should know about that immediately in order to plan ahead.

3) Property

Do you own the home you live in? Do you and your spouse own it jointly? These are bits of information that you attorney needs to have. Since Texas is a community property state, even if you bought your home prior to the marriage's beginning date your spouse may have a claim for reimbursement if community income was utilized to make mortgage payments or improve the house. Another aspect of property to let your attorney know of immediately is if you and your spouse have agreed to the sale of a home or other property. The terms of your agreement can be ratified in the Final Decree of Divorce.

Personal property should be inventoried as well. Make a list of the major items in the home: furniture, electronics, art, jewelry, appliances and contents of any safe(s) that you and your spouse own.

4) Copy documents

Tax filings, bank statements, statements from retirement accounts, and mortgage documents are just a few of the types of documents that are helpful for an attorney to be able to have at the outset of the case. If there are files on the computer that you believe to be relevant make copies and save them to a USB flash drive.

5) Information on the children

Where do your kid(s) go to school? What sort of extracurricular activities are they involved in? Do they have any "special needs" where they need to attend doctor's appointments or take medication on a regular basis? Begin to think about these subjects prior to going to see an attorney so that you can discuss your plan with an attorney. Parties will typically agree to one party being able to designate the primary residence of the kid(s) while the other can visit them with varying degrees of frequency. It is a best case scenario when parties can agree to an arrangement whereby both are able to parent and be present for the children. However, when this is not possible it is critical to let your attorney know of your situation and your desired outcome as far as the children are concerned.

6) Questions

Come prepared to ask your attorney questions about the process. I will typically initiate the "question session" during any meeting with a client but if you have prepared questions to ask it makes the discussion more fruitful and productive. The length of time of a divorce, details about selling a home after a divorce is finalized, visitation concerns and community property are examples of questions that clients will ask with frequency.

Preparing a list of questions and pertinent information can be the basis of a strong attorney-client relationship. The attorneys with The Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC are well-equipped to help you organize your case in a way that will minimize stress and increase the chances of a successful and timely resolution.

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