If you have been reading the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC’s series of articles on how to achieve a successful divorce outcome the it is likely that you have either filed for divorce already or are at the very least strongly considering doing so.
If you find yourself at this stage then I think this blog post will be especially worthwhile for you to review. The reason being is that today’s blog will cover essential items that you should bear in mind and work on at the outset of your divorce case.
Start to think about life without your spouse
If you don’t already, I believe that opening up a credit card account in your own name can be important for you. I’m not telling you to open up a credit card in your own name and to ring up a bunch of purchases and incur a ton of debt during your divorce. If this is something that you do then the judge and your spouse will not be happy with you whatsoever.
If you are the spouse who has relied on your soon to be ex spouse for financial support then it is possible that you do not have any credit history of your own. This can be dangerous if you want to take out a loan in the future, such as a mortgage.
Unfortunately a zero credit score can indicate to some that you are not credit worthy and that money should not be loaned to you. Like this or not, there is merit to this argument. A credit card where you make small purchases and pay the bill in full each month can begin to build your credit score.
Finally, you should open up a bank account in your own name and begin to deposit small sums of money so that the account can be maintained without any unnecessary fees accumulating. There is no magic response to this action other than beginning to gear your mind towards living as a single person.
Trust, but verify: Request a copy of your credit report
You may trust your spouse completely and are getting this divorce for other reasons altogether. He or she may have told you that there are no separate bank accounts or lines of credit or debts that exist in their name.
However, this does not mean that you should trust their assurances and do nothing to make sure that this is in fact the case. It is necessary for you to verify this information for your own financial well-being.
A good way to verify the assurance you received from your spouse is to request a copy of your credit report. A free credit report is available for you to request once a year from the “Big Three” credit reporting companies.
Your credit report contains all open accounts in your name as well as the names of previous lenders you borrowed from as well as a history of the payments that you made. Finally, your credit report will tell how many times someone has inquired about your credit report or credit score.
A heightened activity level that you were previously unaware of may indicate that your spouse was inquiring about a loan in your name without your knowledge or permission.
Budget- assign a task to every dollar that comes in to your bank account
This is going to sound like a financial planner/adviser more than attorney writing this section, but if you can assign each dollar a job duty at the beginning of each month you will likely find that you have more money available to you than you would have previously thought.
Remember, your income is going to decrease as a result of your being in a divorce. If you can learn exactly where each dollar of your income is spent and how to maximize your earnings you will have a better chance to achieve financial successes during the divorce.
Your divorce attorney is ostensibly charging you money for assisting you in your divorce. While this bill will not always be with you in your life, if you can manage to find money to “Cash flow” a lawyer then you will have less to dig out from once your divorce has completed.
How to prove that something is actually your separate property?
In a recent case that I was handling for a client, our client owned a condominium near Lake Travis. In hiring us to represent him for his divorce, our client’s most clear cut goal was to show his court that the condo was his separate property.
His rationale for that position was that the condo was purchased out of the funds from a personal injury settlement and therefore is separate property. The condo, which was valued at nearly $200,000, stood as a major financial component to his case. If the condo was found by a judge to be community property he would likely have to pay his soon to be ex spouse half of the value of the condo in terms of her share of the equity in the home.
Where our client struggled to prove his point was that he was never able to provide documentation to me showing the condo actually was purchased directly with the personal injury settlement money. He provided me with documents that he created showing where the money came from but no closing documents, bank transaction details or anything similar could be provided to me.
Due to this inability to show just where the money came from to purchase the condo, our client made a concession in mediation to offer some money as a settlement to his wife for his being able to keep the condo. While she did accept, he most likely should not have had to pay her any money. His wife never spent much time in the condo and proper record keeping should have shown that he owned the property separately.
Questions on being prepared financially for a divorce? Contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC
If you have any questions on how to best prepare for a divorce please do not hesitate to contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC. Our licensed family law attorneys are available six days a week to meet with you and answer any questions you may have. Thank you for reading and participating in our three part series on how to achieve a successful divorce.
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Other Articles you may be interested in:
- Divorce when economic times are tough
- How to achieve a successful divorce from a financial perspective, Part Two
- How to achieve a successful divorce from a financial perspective
- How a mortgage is handled in a Texas Divorce
- Should I Hide Money from my Spouse to Get Ready for my Texas Divorce?
- Why is Separate Property Important and How to Keep it Separate in a Texas Divorce?
- What Wikipedia Can’t Tell you About Texas Divorce and Marital Property Division
- Texas Divorce Property Division Enforcement
- Separate Property in a Texas Divorce?
- Does it Matter Whose Name is on Title or Deed of Property in a Divorce in Texas?
- Is Social Security Considered Separate Property in a Texas Divorce
- Business Owners and Business Assets in a Texas Divorce
- What to do when your divorce decree does not include a marital asset?
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 important to speak with one of our Houston, TX Child 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 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, 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.