Perhaps you grew tired of always fighting with your spouse about money. You may be one of many Texas residents who have recently filed for divorce. If so, it pays to seek clarification of state property division laws before heading to court to avoid further financial disputes. Never assume that your spouse will suddenly stop arguing about money simply because you’re in a courtroom.
There are several helpful tips to keep in mind to help you prepare for property division proceedings or other litigation that is finance-related, such as child support or alimony. It’s also a good idea to remember that there are resources available that you can tap into for support as needed to help protect your financial interests.
Be informed, organized and prepared
Especially if you took a back seat in marriage while your spouse handled all financial issues, it pays to learn the specifics about your current financial status before heading to court. It’s also a good idea to compile important documents, such as bank statements, tax returns and employment pay stubs, that may be relevant to divorce proceedings.
What you don’t want to do is assume that your spouse is going to play fair in court, especially if he or she has been confrontational in the past about money issues.
Remember that cash and value are two separate issues
It’s one thing if your spouse hands you $500 in cash. It’s quite another, however, if he or she hands you a painting that is worth the same amount of money. In the first scenario, you have money in your hand that you can spend. In the other case, you have an asset that you would have to sell if you wanted cash for the value of its estimated worth.
It is helpful to keep this in mind when it comes time to divide assets in a divorce. Texas is a community property state where most marital property is split 50/50 between spouses.
What will you do with your house when you divorce?
Especially if you have children, the status of your house may be a priority issue in your divorce. Will you sell it and split the proceeds? Will one of you keep living in the house with the kids? Resolving these issues ahead of time will make it easier to achieve a fair settlement in court.
If you’re planning on staying in the house and still owe a mortgage, you may have to refinance to qualify for the loan on your own. What’s most important is to clearly understand Texas property division laws and to seek answers for any questions that are causing you concern regarding how to protect your financial interests during divorce proceedings.