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Making smart financial choices in divorce

People in Texas who are getting a divorce might think about hiring an attorney, but it may not occur to them to speak to a financial planner as well. From stay-at-home spouses who have not dealt much with family finances to the spouse who manages the money, most people may benefit from a financial adviser's expertise.

A financial professional is a position to detect deceptions that an attorney might not be able to. For example, if a spouse attempts to conceal assets by creating a limited liability company, a financial planner may uncover that. Financial planners may also point out other problems. A spouse may not realize that taking the family home in lieu of other assets may not be a good decision due to costs such as upkeep and insurance.

Couples should avoid using the same financial planner. For example, one woman discovered after her divorce that the family home she had been happy to get actually had a mortgage with twice as much debt on it than she thought. Her husband had not told her about the home equity loan he took out on it, and the financial planner did not know that she had not been told.

With the knowledge and confidence that comes from understanding finances better, a person may want to visit an attorney with documents regarding the family income, debts and assets to discuss how the divorce might proceed. Texas is a community property state, but this does not mean that there is nothing to negotiate. First of all, not all property is necessarily considered marital property. For example, some inheritances might be considered the property of just one spouse. Furthermore, community property does not necessarily mean splitting every asset equally. There may be room for a couple to work out other arrangements.

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