It is important for people who are contemplating a divorce to consider how their finances may change as a result of the split. One spouse may be ordered to pay child support if a court awards custody to the other parent, and in some cases, a spouse who earns significantly more than the other may be ordered to pay alimony. Mortgage or rent costs may go up in addition to utility bills that are no longer split. Texas is a community property state, meaning that in general, marital assets and debts are divided equally during a divorce unless the couple can otherwise agree.
It is important for both spouses to get a complete financial picture of how things look around the time of filing. Gathering any tax records, bank statements, credit card statements and any other documents related to property, income, investments or debts can help the divorcing couple and their lawyers get a good picture of what should be included in the marital estate.
For couples who have a lot of assets or own a business together, there may be special considerations to take into account. Deciding what will happen with a jointly-owned business can require significant negotiations. Dividing up the marital portion of a retirement plan may require a qualified domestic relations order to be prepared and submitted to the court for its approval.
The division of marital property is often a contentious part of the divorce process. A family law attorney might be of assistance to an estranged spouse in a variety of ways, from locating hidden assets to negotiating a property settlement agreement and submitting it to the court for its approval.