Considering filing for divorce may force couples to take a good look at their assets, and agree on how they would like to have them divided. Texas is a community property state, meaning that all assets acquired during the marriage will effectively be split on a 50/50 basis. However, if there is an existing prenuptial or postnuptial agreement, couples may have some control over the property division process. In addition to the items addressed in such an agreement, there are financial matters that may need attention prior to commencement of divorce proceedings.
Outstanding debts need to be addressed, and credit cards with zero balances cancelled. Keep in mind that creditors are not interested in the marital problems of debtors, the individuals in whose names the debt was taken will be held responsible. Another important matter to attend to in a timely manner is to ensure both parties have separate bank accounts. For those who do not have a separate account, it may be beneficial to open an account while still married, since the interest rate may be based on a higher income. Life insurance policies may also require some attention since the sole beneficiary named on a policy may be a soon-to-be ex-spouse.
Unless couples opt for a collaborative divorce, legal fees may have to be budgeted for as money for these fees should be readily available. While a family home may hold some sentimental value for some individuals, it is a matter that should be carefully considered. Maintenance, mortgage payments and other costs could accumulate to a significant expense for a single person, and selling the property may yield high interest if invested wisely.
Another matter that Texas couples should not neglect is their 401(k) retirement plans, and both parties may benefit from obtaining professional advice related to the best options to for their unique circumstances. Couples who attend to the above-mentioned matters before filing for divorce may avoid having a judge make decisions on their behalf during the property division process. Using the available sources of support could allow both parties to be prepared for their new single lives.
Source: wgntv.com, "Surviving a divorce", , Aug. 25, 2014