When you get divorced in Texas, as part of the process you and your spouse will be required to divide your community property. You may also have to pay spousal support (or alimony); and, if you have children, you will be required to continue to support your children in accordance with the Texas Child Support Guidelines (or other applicable law). While getting divorced inherently involves compromise, it is important not to give up more than your fair share. So, how can you avoid giving away too much in your divorce?

Protecting Your Assets and Finances During Your Divorce

Below are five tips for preparing to go through a divorce in Texas from our McKinney divorce lawyer:

Collect Your Family’s Financial Records

When it comes to calculating alimony and child support, the key is to have a complete picture of your family’s finances. This includes all accounts (which are assets that may be subject to distribution) and all sources of income (which will determine your post-divorce financial obligations). To get started, you can collect copies of your recent paystubs and income taxes, and make sure you know how to access any joint accounts.

Start to Prioritize

Since neither spouse gets everything, when preparing for a divorce it is important to start thinking about your priorities. The last thing you want is to regret the decisions you made during the divorce process. Which community assets do you want to keep? Would you be willing to give up additional assets in order to avoid paying spousal support? Are you willing to pursue fault-based grounds in order to limit your alimony obligations (such as proving adultery)—which may result in a contentious divorce? These are just a few of the issues you will need to carefully consider.

Make a List of Your Debts

You and your spouse will also need to divide your debts according to the same community property principles. While it will often make sense for the spouse who receives a community asset to also take responsibility for any corresponding debt (i.e. the loan on a vehicle), there are a variety of other options available, and banks will not always be onboard with taking one spouse off of a shared loan.

Identify Your Separate and Community Property

Under Texas law, only assets that qualify as “community property” are subject to distribution in a divorce. Assets that do not qualify as community property are considered “separate property,” and they are kept out of the divorce process entirely. In order to make informed decisions about property distribution, you need to know which of your assets are on the table, so a good way to get started is to make a list of your separate and community assets.

 

 

 

Speak with Our McKinney Divorce Lawyers Sooner Rather than Later

Due to the volume and complexity of issues involved in the divorce process, if you are considering a divorce, it is a good idea to speak with an attorney sooner rather than later. If you have questions and would like to speak with our McKinney divorce lawyers in confidence, you can call 214-726-1450 or contact the firm online for a free initial divorce consultation.