One way to examine the impact of a divorce is to look at it as a matter of dollars and cents. A business transaction of sorts. Yes, it is more than just a business deal. You and your spouse are not executives hashing out how to divide a company neither of you created. You are, in fact, two people that at one time or another, took a vow to spend the rest of your life together. Now that you have determined that it is no longer a realistic option, you seek a divorce.
It will be nearly impossible for you to disassociate your past life, your family, and anything else that came from your marriage from the financial aspects of your case. This is a divorce we're talking about- perhaps the most unique type of lawsuit that there is. Secondly, the finances we are talking about aren't the sort you learned about in college. They are called personal finances for a reason. The matters at issue in your case will be highly personal on one level or another to you and your spouse.
Over the next few days, the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC, will share some perspectives on divorce and personal finances based on our years of experience representing people in our community just like you. Along the way, we hope that you will find these blog posts to be informative and entertaining.
If you have questions about anything you read, please contact our office. We will be happy to walk you through the steps in a divorce and discuss how your circumstances can potentially impact the divorce process in Texas.
Getting organized is the first step to holding your finances.
Nobody enters into a divorce happily. That is perhaps the understatement of the century. The fact is that as you proceed in your divorce journey, you will accumulate questions just as frequently as you acquire information to answer those questions. Do not worry that you are constantly coming up with questions to ask your attorney because, without those questions, you will not gain any information and cannot feel better and proceed with confidence into the later stages of your divorce.
Financial questions are some of the most important that you will encounter in your divorce case. The fact is you will need to get a firm grasp on your finances to achieve any of your goals in your divorce. This process starts to collect and organize financial information and records on issues large and small.
Your family budget (if you have one) is an excellent place to start. In the temporary orders phase of your case, a judge may have to determine who will be paying what bills, who will be staying in the family home, and other immediate financial considerations that need to be made. I say that a judge "may" have to determine these issues because, in all likelihood, you and your spouse will agree in mediation how these responsibilities will be split up during the divorce.
Use the divorce to key in and learn your monthly spending habits. Suppose you have never operated off of a budget before. There is no better time than the present to start doing so. You likely never knew just how much money you earned or how far it could be stretched. At the same time, you also likely never knew just how much money you spent on things you don't need. If you are the spouse who was not the one in charge of finances, this will be an incredibly eye-opening experience for you.
How to plan your finances before a divorce
From a financial perspective, planning for your divorce does not mean hiding assets, attempting to devalue property or anything like that.
However, that does not mean that you shouldn't do certain things before a divorce that can help you set yourself up for the next phase of your life. If you can help your divorce proceed smoother and reduce clutter in your financial portfolio without hurting your spouse's position, then you should do so.
Your financial portfolio as separate but interrelated pieces
The parts of your financial portfolio that are likely to be relevant to your divorce- your home, your bank accounts, your investments, your retirement savings are all separate issues when it comes to negotiations in a divorce but are also interrelated. Imagine taking each one and pushing them to the middle of a table.
It is up to you and your spouse to move them around in a manner agreeable to both of you. What you decide to do regarding one of those items may affect negotiation on other proceeds and vice versa. Consider what your future will look like one, five, ten, and twenty years down the road to somewhat appreciate the impact of your negotiation methods.
An opportunity to consider your divorce to be a gray cloud with a silver lining if you have not thought that much in-depth about a financial plan for yourself moving forward a divorce will force you to consider the future and the role your finances will play in it. Even though you and your spouse may have made mistakes together regarding your finances, a divorce allows you to move forward without them dragging you down with bad decisions on a repeated basis.
Other considerations as you move towards a divorce
We all have preconceived notions of how we should operate in terms of finances. As you enter into a divorce, you take those preconceived notions with you and come face to face with either a realization that you have been doing well in keeping your finances under control or that you may need to reevaluate your position on personal finances and how they relate to you and your family. In the case of a divorce, you should have a firm grasp on what your goals are because, in a divorce, you are not the only person who will have a say-so over how the proceedings occur.
Another topic that nearly always comes up in a divorce is your friends and family's role in your case. These folks serve a critical role as a support system for you during this difficult time. They will be the folks you lean on for moral support as you proceed with your case.
These folks can cause problems (inadvertently, for the most part) when they start to give you advice about your situation when they are not exceptionally qualified to do so. Well-meaning but flawed advice can put you in the wrong position if you start to rely upon it. Lean on your lawyer for legal advice and support system if you need a distraction from your case. If you combine the role of lawyer and friend, you will be in a worse position as far as your divorce is concerned.
Stay tuned to tomorrow's blog post when we begin to discuss how to put all the different aspects of your financial life together.
In tomorrow's blog post, we will go over how you can take all the different areas of your financial life and combine them into an easier-to-digest format for both you and your attorney to review. The organization is critical, and if you have not been the most organized person in the world before, a divorce will give you a shock to your system (in a good way).
Questions about the subject matter we discussed today or any other in Texas family law? Please get in touch with the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC, today if so. We offer free of charge consultations with our licensed family law attorneys. It would be an honor to sit down with you and address any questions. We can help you create a roadmap for your case, so you know what is likely to happen and how best to prepare.
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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Other Articles you may be interested in:
- The wide-ranging financial impacts of a divorce in Texas
- How Social Media Can Hurt You in Divorce
- Getting Ready for a Hearing On Temporary Custody Orders
- Can I sue my spouse's mistress in Texas?
- My Spouse Has Accused Me of Adultery in my Texas Divorce, and I Haven't
- When is Cheating Considered Adultery in a Texas Divorce?
- Sex, Lies, Rock-and-roll, and Adultery in a Texas Divorce
- Can I Sue My Spouse for Mental Abuse in My Texas Divorce?
- Six things You Need to Know Before You File for Divorce in Texas
- Texas Divorce Morality Clause: Be Careful What You Ask For
- What does Insupportability or No-Fault in a Texas Divorce Mean?
Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC | Spring, 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 Spring, TX Divorce Lawyers right away to protect your rights.
Our 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 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 Spring, Texas, Cypress, 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.