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Financial steps to take before filing for divorce

When Texas residents are considering a divorce, there are steps they can take even before the process begins to protect themselves financially, particularly if they anticipate an acrimonious split. One of those steps is getting copies of all important financial documents and keeping them in a safe place such as with a friend or relative or in a safe deposit box.

People might also want to review their credit reports and correct any erroneous information before the divorce is underway. They might also want to look at any joint accounts and make sure their spouse is not abusing them. Another consideration is setting up a personal account that is separate from joint accounts. People who do not have their own lines of credit may want to try to establish one. It may be possible to get a credit card based on household income for people who do not have one themselves. People should also be prepared for how their tax situation may change. In addition to no longer filing as married and being in a different tax bracket, they may owe taxes on some assets that were sold during the divorce.

Other types of professionals may be helpful in a divorce besides an attorney including a financial planner and a therapist. People should try to separate their emotions from the financial aspects of the divorce.

A high-asset divorce may mean a particularly complex process of property division. Since Texas is a community property state, if one person owns a business or makes the bulk of the income, these assets are still probably considered shared property. Dividing a business may be particularly complicated if there are not already procedures in place at the company to deal with divorce or a prenuptial agreement. Possibilities may include selling the business, one person buying the other out or the two continuing to run the company.

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