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The Importance of an Inventory and Appraisement in a Texas Divorce

One of the ways that people can be divided up is based on whether or not they are “big picture” or “details” people.

Big picture people tend to focus more heavily on the results of a situation rather than the means by which they achieve those results. Details people want to painstakingly review ever step in the process to make sure nothing goes missed or an item is overlooked. It would be nice to have some characteristics of both these types of people but for most of us this isn’t how we’re wired.

In a divorce case, the details are extremely important. Your life is going to change because of divorce no matter how the change actually occurs and to what extent it does. It’s the “how” the change occurs that I would like to focus on in this blog post.

Just about every person who goes through a divorce understands that their financial world is about to be reviewed closely both by a Court and their soon to be ex-spouse. How you organize your finances, the debts you have as well as your income are crucial components to settling any issues that have arisen in your marriage.

An Inventory and Appraisement is a tool that helps both parties to a divorce understand each side’s best interpretation of the current financial status of both parties. If you are going through a divorce or contemplating a future divorce this blog post should be informative and useful in learning more about this aspect of a divorce case.

What you don’t know can hurt you when it comes to finances in a Texas Divorce

Most potential clients walk through the doors of the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC and bluntly state that they want a quick, inexpensive and easy divorce. It is certainly possible to achieve these goals but the devil is often in the details.

If you and your spouse have “drifted” apart over the years, either physically or emotionally, you may not be aware of their current financial state. Have they taken out a loan or two you were unaware of? How are their credit card statements looking?

Are they working as much as they say they are? Knowing the answer to these questions is crucial to your being able to complete your divorce in a relatively short amount of time while protecting yourself and your financial future.

Courts across the state and specifically in southeast Texas require the completion and filing of a document known as an Inventory and Appraisal at least prior to a Final Orders hearing.

This document will be completed by both spouses and includes a listing of all of their individual assets and liabilities. Each party will also assess values against each asset and each debt and give their position on whether a piece of property is part of either the community or separate estates.

The inventory and appraisement contains an affidavit-type verification that the party who completes the document has done so truthfully and to the best of their knowledge. Obviously, this does not keep someone from being less than truthful, but if it is determined by a court that they knowingly shielded assets or debts from their spouse there could be potential consequences from the Court.

From my experience, it isn’t so much that people are trying to be dishonest when they do not list an item in their inventory and appraisement. It’s more likely that they simply forget something and disregard it.

The bottom line is that it is much better to forget about a big debt at the beginning of the case because the parties have plenty of time to have their memories refreshed.

Forgetting something at the end of a divorce may mean the failure to include it in their final orders and the need to go back after a divorce is finalized to have that items taken into consideration and dealt with appropriately.

How an Inventory and Appraisement assists in the Discovery process

This is helpful not only in preparation for a temporary orders hearing, but also in figuring out whether or not your spouse is being truthful about their understanding of their own financial status.

For example, if you review your spouse’s inventory and appraisal and you see that he or she is severely underestimating the nature of their credit card debt or seem to be hiding a potential money-making asset, you and your attorney can seek further information by serving them with discovery.

Discovery seeks to determine more in-depth information regarding a range of subjects. For our purposes, discovery would be done to ascertain the documents and information that your spouse is basing the information contained in their inventory and appraisement on.

How a Court uses an Inventory and Appraisement

Once the Inventory and Appraisement has been completed and signed it will be served on the opposing party and filed with the Court.

The document becomes the filing party’s position on the financial status of the spouses and cannot be contradicted during a hearing or trial. Obviously then it is important to make sure the document is as up to date and correct as possible.

The Court will use the Inventory and Appraisement to determine how the debts and assets are divided in the most equitable fashion that is possible. The earning potential of both spouses, their personal debt to income ratios as well as how any debts were incurred will be weighed by the Court.

Again, the importance of the Inventory and Appraisement in this process cannot be understated. The judge will not ask you during a hearing if you would like to change something in the document.

The Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC: Experience you can trust

In representing clients across Southeast Texas, the divorce attorneys with the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC have developed the experience and expertise that you need in a Texas divorce. In order to learn more about our firm please do contact us today to schedule a free of charge consultation. Meetings can be had six days a week with an attorney where your particular situation can be discussed and questions can be answered.

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Adobe Stock 62844981[2]If you want to know more about what you can do, CLICK the button below to get your FREE E-book: 16 Steps to Help You Plan & Prepare for Your Texas Divorce

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  1. What is and Why do I need to do Discovery in my Texas Divorce?
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  3. 6 things You Need to Know Before You File for Divorce in Texas
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  7. 6 Tips - On How to prepare for a Texas Divorce
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Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC | Spring Divorce Attorneys

The Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC 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 Attorneys right away to protect your rights.

Our divorce attorneys 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, PLLC by calling (281) 810-9760 or submit your contact information in our online form. The Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC handles Divorce cases in Spring, Texas, Cypress, Spring, Klein, Humble, Kingwood, Tomball, The Woodlands, 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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