Married Texas couples expect their lives to be happily ever after, but things change. There are many reasons why marriages end in divorce. Whatever the cause, you’ll want to be prepared; here are some tips to help you along.
Take inventory of your property
Texas is a community property state, which means that all marital property is divided in a divorce. However, anything you owed separately before getting married or inherited separately is excepted. Go through all separate and marital property to get an idea of what to expect once your divorce occurs and how much money you’re due as part of the settlement.
Gather all financial documents
Collect everything you can that pertains to your financial picture, including bank accounts, credit card bills, medical bills, taxes, stocks, bonds, retirement account statements and anything else that’s relevant. Separate them by those owned jointly and separately. Review these items to ensure that you’ve collected everything, and this should give you a decent idea of your financial standing in the divorce.
Close accounts and open new ones
Now that you and your spouse are going your separate ways, your jointly held accounts should be separate as well. Close joint credit card accounts and take cash out of bank accounts to start fresh by opening new ones in your name alone. If you were only an authorized user on the joint credit account or your spouse has a bad spending habit, you can take steps to build or rebuild your credit; getting a secured card might be the best way to go.
Open savings and checking accounts and deposit most of your money into the former. Keep at least $1,000 in checking. You may also want to open a second savings account for emergencies.
Preparing for divorce isn’t easy, but these steps can make things easier as your court date nears.