Getting divorced can take every bit as much planning as getting married. There is paperwork to file, furniture to move and new living arrangements to work out. Many people do not realize just how much there is to consider when you file for divorce, which is why it is always a good idea to call a divorce attorney and ask for some advice on how to proceed.
Five Things to Do to Prepare for Divorce
No matter if your divorce is going to be amicable and celebrated with cake and a party, or if it looks like it will be decidedly less than friendly, there are some important things to think about before you sit down to sign those papers. Things like who is going to move out, and where they are going to stay. Things like who gets to keep your collection of Elvis Presley commemorative plates. Things like:
- Do you understand your assets? Each state has its own laws about the division of assets in a divorce, and Texas is a community property state. This means that everything you accumulated during your marriage, from paychecks to real estate to commemorative plate collections, gets divided up as equally as possible during a divorce. When you and your spouse decide it’s time to split, one good move is to sit down and go over your financial situation. This is especially important if your spouse handled the bulk of your finances—you will have to know how to do it yourself once he or she is no longer a part of your life.
- What is your strategy for child custody? If you have children, it is crucial that you and your spouse discuss their futures after the divorce. If you cannot come to an agreement, your divorce attorney may recommend you meet with a mediator, who will help you work together to put together a plan for your children.
- What happens to your joint accounts? Once you know you want to file for divorce you should contact your bank to let them know that you will soon be single. You and your spouse should close any joint accounts you have and set up separate accounts for your futures apart. This is not just limited to banks, but includes passwords and virtual accounts. For example, are you and your spouse going to share the same Netflix account after you’re divorced? Probably not. No divorce is helped by fights over who gets to stream the latest episode of House of Cards
- What is the actual date of separation? In Texas, the legal date of separation is the day the divorce decree is signed. This means that any money or property to accumulate right up until that date is considered community property and must be divided. However, your divorce attorney can help you draw up a partition agreement, which will let you and your spouse decide which property should be considered communal.
- When should I speak to a divorce attorney? It is a good idea to call a divorce attorney as soon as you and your spouse decide to call it quits. Divorce proceedings in Texas take at least 60 days to finalize, and a lot can go wrong in two months. A divorce attorney can help you understand all the details of divorce, from dates of separation to the laws covering the division of Elvis Presley commemorative items.
Our Texas law firm has years of experience with divorce and family law. One of our attorneys is even a certified mediator.