If you and your soon-to-be former Texas spouse were married for a number of years, you’ve likely acquired more marital property than you had to start. Any number of issues may have prompted your decision to file for divorce, including constant disagreements about finances. If you own a business or have a high net worth, you might encounter some challenges during property division proceedings.
A common problem that many people who are in similar situations often have occurs when a spouse doesn’t know how to ready his or her finances for divorce. There are several things you can do ahead of time to avoid money pitfalls during proceedings.
Not all advice is good advice
If a family member, friend or even a financial adviser starts telling you what you “should” do to secure your finances in divorce without knowing the details of your case, you’ll want to be wary about his or her recommendations. There’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all plan for Texas property division proceedings, especially in a high-asset case.
It’s always best to consult with someone who is well-versed in state laws that govern property division proceedings. This state operates under community property laws, which means that, in most cases, a family court judge will split marital property 50/50 between spouses in a divorce.
Keep a detailed list of expenses on hand
Before you request alimony or child support, it’s a good idea to take a thorough inventory of your expenses. The more detail you can provide the court about your projected cost of living after divorce, the better able the judge will be to make a fair decision.
Know where important documents are
If you were in need of your most recent tax return documents, do you know how to access them at this time? In addition to knowing as much as possible about the expenses you expect to have after you finalize your divorce, it’s also important to prepare for proceedings by gathering all important documents that may be pertinent to your case.
Besides tax information, such documents might include bank statements, pay stubs and information regarding investments, retirement accounts or other financial matters.
If you’re preparing for an adversarial situation
In a perfect world, every Texas married couple would be able to amicably settle their divorce in a peaceful, swift and economically feasible fashion. In reality, you might be up against a spouse who wants to “stick it to you” in court, either for revenge or so that he or she will walk away with more money than you.
It’s a good idea to closely monitor finances in this type of situation, especially if you believe your spouse is someone who might attempt a hidden asset scheme to gain the upper hand in property division proceedings.
Build a strong support network to avoid financial disaster
You have a right to expect a fair settlement in a divorce. You can also be certain that the court has your children’s best interests in mind when handing down a ruling, especially concerning child custody and child support issues. You can be proactive to protect your financial interests by enlisting support from people who know what to do if something goes wrong.
If you think your ex is committing illegal acts to hide assets, you can bring the matter to the court’s immediate attention.