Since the state of Texas does not recognize legal separation, putting your financial information in order prior to filing for divorce is essential.
Gathering documents takes time, so begin early. Here are five tips to help you save time, money and stress in preparing for the financial side of divorce.
Track your expenses
Find out where you are spending money. Make a list that includes items such as food, clothing, home maintenance, transportation and childcare costs. Tracking your expenses will not only be essential for your divorce but will help you prepare a budget for life afterward.
Pull documents together
You will need to provide your attorney with complete financial records, including
- Tax returns for the past two years
- Bank statements and credit card statements
- Statements for retirement funds and investments
- Recent pay stubs
- Lists of both marital and separate assets and debts
Delay making big financial decisions
Refrain from making any big financial decisions such as changing beneficiaries on your life insurance policy or updating your will until the divorce is final.
While you can continue to use your accounts as you usually do, remember that you are in the process of separating finances. Do not go on spending sprees as you face divorce.
Use caution concerning advice
Your well-meaning friends and relatives may wish to offer their thoughts and suggestions, especially those who are veterans of divorce themselves. Remember that the process is different for everyone. You should only listen to the advice of professionals directly associated with your case, including any advice you need concerning the financial side of your divorce.