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Don't forget to address future finances during property division

Navigating a divorce is rarely easy, especially when trying to do it without professional guidance and support. It is not uncommon for a divorcing spouse in Texas to focus on the property division process under the community property laws of the state and to neglect consideration of post-divorce financial needs. Both short- and long-term financial requirements of the soon-to-be single person must form part of the planning.

Another aspect that is sometimes left unaddressed is the updating of beneficiaries on retirement accounts, life insurance and personal bank accounts. Even if an agreement is reached that one spouse will remain the beneficiary of an account, it is best to revise and renew all beneficiary statements. Forgetting to change beneficiaries may leave a former spouse in charge of significant assets in the event of the incapacitation or death of the other spouse.

Joint debts can come back to haunt a divorced person. These may include credit cards, mortgage debt, tax bills and more. Being proactive can avoid creditor harassment later. Tax commitments must be paid, joint credit cards must be canceled and a mortgage may have to be refinanced if the family home is not sold. Creditors have no interest in a couple's marital affairs, and even if one spouse has agreed to be responsible for a particular debt, both parties could be held accountable unless appropriate steps are taken.

An experienced Texas divorce attorney can help address these issues. In cases in which couples struggle to reach mutual agreements related to property division, a divorce mediator may assist in facilitating negotiations. The attorneys for both spouses typically attend the mediation sessions to protect the interests of their respective clients and provide valuable input while ensuring that the final agreement complies with applicable laws and local court procedures.

Source: cheatsheet.com, "3 Money Mistakes That Too Many Couples Make After a Breakup", Sheiresa Ngo, May 20, 2016

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