Deciding to file for divorce from your spouse is a tough decision to make. You didn't need to come to the website of a family law attorney to tell you that, but you may be here for some advice on the subject. While the attorneys at the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC pride themselves 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 they may not have been ready for a divorce.
The emotional aspects are fundamental 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 an excellent resource for peace of mind during the divorce.
However, the financial aspects of a divorce are discussed 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 essential, 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, 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 before your divorce beginning
This means that you should access bank account statements, retirement plan statements, and 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 permanently save PDF files 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 essential 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 how financially sound your life is.
Organizing these documents will be necessary for your divorce, as well. Your attorney will be requesting records of all sorts from you to learn about you and your case and 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 most 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 advise you on whether it is wise to make payments towards that debt during the divorce or 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 to validate your assertions.
For example, if you own the home you live in with your spouse, the presumption will be that this house is community property. However, it could be 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 greatly.
More tips on preparing for divorce financially to be posted tomorrow
We have more to offer you regarding 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, PLLC, 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 the services that we provide to our clients.
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Other Articles you may be interested in:
- Financial Advice during a Divorce
- 12 Texas Custody & Conservatorship Battle Tips
- 8 Tips for Reducing the Cost of a Divorce in Texas
- 6 Tips for Getting a Free Divorce Consultation
- 6 Tips - On How to prepare for a Texas Divorce
- 3 Tips on Things You Shouldn't Do in a Texas Divorce
- 15 Quick Tips Regarding Filing for Divorce in Texas
- Roadmap of Basic Divorce Procedure in Texas
- Child Custody Basics in Texas
- 6 Mistakes that can Destroy Your Texas Divorce Case
- 10 Quick Tips About Parental Visitation
- Does it Matter who Files First in a Texas Divorce?
Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC | Houston, Texas Divorce Lawyers
The Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC, routinely handles matters that affect children and families. If you have questions regarding divorce, it's essential 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 the 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 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.