Whether you're just beginning to consider divorce or you're ready to talk to an attorney and start the process, one of your biggest worries is likely how it will impact you financially. It's important to take a look at your current financial situation and what you'll need to seek in the divorce to minimize the negative impact.
There's no doubt that divorce is one of the most stressful events a person can experience. Finding ways to reduce your stress level is not only healthy for you but also your children, as well. Studies have found that parental stress can lead to behavioral issues in their children.
As a community property state, most assets that two people acquire, either individually or together, during their marriage are subject to equal division in a divorce in Texas unless they have a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement that says otherwise. This includes things like income, savings, homes, artwork, vehicles, and other property.
Psychologists long ago determined that divorce is one of the most stressful life events a person can go through. Attitudes towards divorce have changed significantly over the years, and many couples have fairly amicable divorces that don't involve battles in court before a judge.
These days, you don't hear as much about marital abandonment as you used to back when most wives were financially dependent on their husbands. However, it can still occur. Marital abandonment is when spouse leaves their husband or wife (and sometimes children), severing all ties and financial obligations to their family. In some cases, they work to ensure that they can't be located.
Once you know that divorce is in your future, it's essential to keep a close eye on the marital assets that you will be splitting with your spouse. People can (and unfortunately sometimes do) engage in what's called the "dissipation of assets." It occurs when a spouse intentionally wastes or squanders marital assets to lessen the amount their husband or wife will get in the divorce settlement. Typically this is done out of malice or spite and by a person who can afford to throw away money. Often they have a high income that they'll continue to have after the divorce while their spouse doesn't.
Differing attitudes toward money are at least one factor in many divorces. If you and your spouse are divorcing, and you've racked up a significant amount of debt over the years, you're understandably concerned about how much of that debt you get "custody" of in the divorce.
If you and your spouse have chosen to continue to live together in your home as you go through the divorce process, or even for a time after your divorce has been finalized, you're not alone. Some couples do it because they simply can't afford to maintain two homes -- even if one of them is a small apartment. Others do it because they feel it's best for the kids -- perhaps at least until the school year is over.
Recently, online lending marketplace LendingTree published a list of the best and worst places to "recover from divorce." Sure, Turks and Caicos, Maui or maybe Paris sound like great places to recover. However, LendingTree had more practical places in mind when it developed its list of the best and worst cities in the U.S. for people to live post-divorce.
Divorce can be a highly emotional process. However, it's also a financial one. Whether you have a single home and a couple of retirement and investment accounts or you have multiple properties and millions of dollars in other assets, you need to understand what you're dividing and how your division of those assets (and debts) will impact your life going forward.