August and March have the greatest number of divorce filings in this country according to a recent study. Divorces also surge at the beginning of the year in January. However, filing for divorce in Texas should be based upon careful planning and preparation and not the calendar.
First, paperwork should be complied and kept in a place that is inaccessible to the other spouse, such as a safety deposit box or with a close friend or relative. These include tax returns and supporting documents, wills, pension plans, stocks, insurance polices, bank statements, debt information, lists of personal property, documents on businesses that are owned and real estate records.
Obtaining this paperwork may be time consuming because it covers many years and may be located in many places. These documents will help conduct a thorough review and planning of personal finances. It may be impossible to gather this information once the divorce is filed if it is held by the other spouse.
It is also important to establish strong credit if a spouse was not responsible for paying bills or making purchases. Obtaining a credit report and correcting errors is essential. Credit cards should be obtained only in the spouse’s name.
A spouse should also set up a checking and savings account under their own name at a bank that does not handle the couple’s accounts. Enough funds should be saved to fund the divorce litigation, make other arrangements and continue to pay household bills and credit cards. Divorce funding businesses may also pay these expenses for a percentage of the divorce settlement or may advance money that has to repaid with interest after the final settlement is entered.
A high asset divorce may also require professional assistance from financial advisors to assist with planning the best financial outcome. Therapists may also help with the emotions that often accompany the end of a marriage.
An experienced and knowledgeable attorney is an important advisor on divorce legal issues. Lawyers can help assure that a spouse’s rights are protected in court proceedings and settlement negotiations.