3 Things to Do Before Filing for Divorce
Filing for divorce is never an easy proposition. Even if you believe that you and your spouse will be able to part ways amicable, divorce has a way of bringing out the worst in our emotions, especially when hurt feelings and financial matters come into the mix.
While emotions will always come into play, it is important that you don’t make this a snap decision, but rather take the steps to empower yourself and put yourself in the best possible position before filing for divorce.
Know Your Finances
Having a clear idea of where you and your spouse stand financially is of utmost importance and you should be sure to have copies and documentation of everything, ranging from tax reports, income statements, investments, and so forth. The most helpful situation is if you are able to obtain financial records from other sources such as a business manager or an accountant with past tax returns. A clear and complete financial history will help ensure that things are settled in the most equitable manner possible.
You should also be sure to have your own emergency fund set aside, if necessary, in case you lose access to savings, checking accounts, or credit cards upon filing for divorce.
Take stock of the common marital assets which range from the family home, vehicles, or financial accounts, which are often split evenly. However, there are often other assets which are overlooked, including retirement plans, inheritances, and valuable items like artwork.
Texas does not require that assets be split 50/50, but rather the Texas Family Code requires a “just and right” division, which may mean slightly different percentages based on bad behavior by one party, finding fault in the divorce, or a disparity in earnings between a couple.
It is also important to note that debts are divided based on financial ability, rather than who originally incurred the debt or whose name the debt is in.
Watch Your Social Media Usage
Increasingly, we are seeing social media records and usage brought into family law cases, especially when child custody is at stake.
While we all have become involved in the world of social media, it is often something that is overlooked by couples entering into a divorce.
Do not assume that anything you have written or shared on social media, despite the privacy settings or supposed confidentiality, will not eventually come to light in the divorce proceedings.
Facebook Twitter, Instagram, and any other social media platform could be relevant to the divorce proceedings, and any photos, videos, or status updates that show or suggest alcohol or drug use, infidelity, or a variety of other unsavory activities could negatively impact you during divorce proceedings, especially during custody matters.
Hire a Divorce Lawyer
It is important to find and hire an experienced divorce lawyer before filing for divorce. A divorce lawyer will help ensure that you start off the proceedings properly and have all your ducks in a row before filing.
Your attorney will be your #1 source of expert advice during the proceedings and will ensure that you receive everything you deserve for a fair and equitable divorce. Furthermore, your divorce attorney will ensure that costly mistakes are avoided, delays are minimized so you can quickly move on, and they will help reduce stress during one of the most difficult times of your life.
The experienced family law and divorce attorneys at Fears Nachawati are here to help guide you through this difficult and trying situation. For your free, no obligation legal consultation, please call the divorce lawyers of Fears Nachawati at (866) 705-7584, or visit one of the offices located throughout the great state of Texas, including in Houston, Dallas, Austin, Fort Worth, and San Antonio.