When filing for divorce, there are many decisions that must be made. While it is easy to get caught up in the emotions of the situation, it is important to remain vigilant about preparing for your life after a divorce.
For most people, their financial situation will change drastically. Some tips to help you prepare for life after divorce are found here.
Understanding Texas property laws
Texas is a community property state. This means assets acquired during the marriage are considered joint property. However, assets you had before the marriage, gifts, and inheritances are considered separate property if properly documented. Knowing this distinction is crucial in protecting your financial interests during a divorce. Consult an attorney to understand how community property laws apply to your situation.
Inventory your assets
Create a list of all your assets, including real estate, bank accounts, investments and personal belongings. Differentiate between community property and separate property. This inventory is a good starting point for property division and helps to ensure you receive a fair settlement.
Establish individual accounts
If you’ve been sharing bank accounts and credit cards with your spouse, it’s time to open separate ones. Redirect your income to the new accounts and use them for your individual expenses going forward. Having separate financial accounts adds a layer of protection and makes tracking your income and expenses easier during and after your divorce.
Protect your credit score
Joint debts can cause concern, especially if your spouse is financially irresponsible. Review your credit reports and consider closing or freezing joint accounts to prevent unauthorized spending. If possible, negotiate with your spouse to divide and refinance the debt. Keep an eye on your credit report throughout the divorce to spot any irregularities quickly.
By understanding the legal landscape, conducting a thorough inventory and getting expert advice, you can navigate the complexities of a Texas divorce without jeopardizing your financial future. Taking steps to protect yourself now will pay off.