We have observed that is common for there to be a division of labor in relationships in the Texas divorce cases we have handled. This means that there often a spouse in the marriage who has a more complete financial picture of the marriage than the other spouse. Unfortunately, this often means that only one spouse knows what all theassets anddebts of the marriage are.
In this blog article, we will discuss how one of the most important steps you can take when preparing for a Texas divorce is start gathering financial information.
What Financial Information Should You Obtain Prior to a Divorce?
It is not uncommon for me to be asked during a divorce consult what can be done to prepare for a divorce. I am also happy to explain things that can be done to prepare. One of the things I encourage consults to do is start gathering as much financial information ask they can when they can. The list includes but is not limited to:
- Bank statements
- Checking account information
- Savings account information
- Retirement account statements
- 401(k) statements
- Pension information
- Loan information
- Credit card statements
- Property taxes
- Tax Returns
- Paystubs for both parties
- And any other financial information that may be relevant
What if I do not have access to any financial information?
If your spouse is the only one with access to the necessary information, that is ok. This is not uncommon your Houston divorce lawyer will be able to help obtain the information later. We encourage you to get the information if possible because this normally cost effective and quicker.
However, the information can be obtained through a variety of methods including:
- Deeds can be obtained from the county clerk’s office
- Tax returns from the IRS
- Credit Card information, Bank Information and Mortgage Information can all be obtained directly from financial institution
- Running a credit report can also be a good source of information
- From your spouse through their cooperation or through legal discovery
Create a Budget
It is a good idea to start working on a budget. Once you are divorced generally financial income will be more limited so it is a good idea to start preparing to live only on your individual income.
Some things to consider in your budget include:
- Will you be receiving child support?
- Paying child support
- Can you afford the house?
- Can you afford your car?
- Are there other items or expenses you may need to get rid of?
Start saving for your divorce
It also a good idea to start saving for your divorce as much as possible. When the divorce starts, there are generally not any orders in place saying what you can and cannot do. This can be problematic if you and your spouse are not cooperating and you do not have any access to money.
If you can have at least 3 months of expense money or more set aside this can help you get through the early part of the divorce until there can be hearing in front of a judge for Temporary Orders if needed.
Somethings you can do to help prepare for divorce in regards to saving include:
- Opening a separate bank account that only you have access
- Take half or more of the money out of any joint bank accounts (you may want to be careful on timing this one you probably will only get to this once)
- Open credit cards in just your name. This can help establish your credit if you do not have any as well as provide you with emergency money should you need it.
- Take half or more of any Tax refunds from any jointly filed tax returns
Consider Closing or Removing Spouse from any Joint Credit Cards
If your spouse is a signatory to any of your credit cards is often a good idea to remove them. On more than one of my cases a spouse has maxed out credit cards. If your spouse is only the signatory and not jointly responsible for the debt this can leave you holding the bag to the credit card company.
This can often be even out during the divorce but can be problematic while the divorce is ongoing. If you are concerned that your spouse may use your financial information to obtain money using your name it would be a good idea to join a credit monitory company.
Get a Post Office BOX
Many of my clients have opened post office boxes to receive mail. This is very helpful you are still living in the same house as your spouse. You would not be the first spouse I have represented whose ex has diverted or intercepted their mail.
Having another location to receive mail can help protect your confidentiality, privacy, and avoid inconvenience of not receiving your mail.
Remember before the Divorce is Filed there are No Court Orders
During the planning stages of a Texas divorce there are no court orders from keeping you or your spouse on how you handle financial matters or what changes you can make regarding:
- Your will
- Beneficiaries on any financial accounts or life insurance policies
- Financial accounts etc.
It is a good to think through things carefully and plan accordingly.
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”
Other Articles you may be interested in:
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- How am I going to Pay for My Texas Divorce?
- Why do divorces cost so much in Texas?
- How Much Will My Texas Divorce Cost?
- 8 Tips for Reducing the Cost of a Divorce in Texas
- Low cost and affordable divorces, attorneys, websites and divorce Costs in Texas
- Can I sue my spouse's mistress in Texas?
- Roadmap of Basic Divorce Procedure in Texas
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- 6 Mistakes that can Destroy Your Texas Divorce Case
Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC | Spring 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 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 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.