If you’re about to start the process of divorce in Texas, here are some tips to help you keep your head above water. Even though you might think ending your relationship is the best thing for your family, you need to know a few things before and after you file for divorce. This advice is a helpful start, but remember consulting with a lawyer is the best way to get advice when it comes to the complex set of laws and considerations to handle in a divorce case.
Woods, May & Matlock are divorce and family law attorneys in Plano, TX with the experience that counts when it comes to your case.
Marriage is a financial arrangement. Most couples don’t think about the legal and financial commitments they make when they get married. While you were focused on celebrating your marriage and being in love, you entered a legal contact with your spouse.
Texas, along with nine other states, is a “community property” state. In these states, every dollar you earn, even the money you put into retirement and your 401K is considered as belonging half and half to both you and your spouse. Any gifts to both of you are community property.
“The Stuff” at the end
When a marriage is over, you might feel like you just want to get away. All the wedding gifts – the dinnerware, the expensive sheets, and the kitchen utensils- don’t really matter, but the kids do. Here’s where many people make their biggest mistake, especially men.
Doing the “Right Thing”
In trying to make the best move for the family, many men pack up some basic items and leave, walking away from the house and furnishings. These men think leaving their ex with all the stuff means she will treat him fairly when it comes to child custody.
Who has control?
Unfortunately, this isn’t how it usually plays out. By leaving your ex with the house and all the stuff, this person has given their ex all the control. Making a real plan before divorce.
Since Texas is a “community property” state, it’s important to treat the assets in the home that way instead of just walking away. Even if you don’t care about owning the stuff, you should be aware of its value. Do a run-through of the house and write down all the items that were bought as wedding gifts or during your marriage.
The Courtroom approach to stuff
This might seem tedious, but the judge will want to see all the items of the marriage. There will be some you actually want but probably many more you don’t care about. Even if you don’t want to keep them, you should be at least partially compensated for giving them up.
And the kids?
Don’t move out (unless you’re in danger) until you and your spouse have discussed a plan for how you are going to share time with the children. Make a plan not only for normal weeks, but talk about holidays and summer vacation.
Make sure you avoid the big mistakes in your divorce by getting good advice. Call 972-387-9955 for a free brief phone consultation with Woods, May & Matlock. Our divorce and family law attorneys in Plano, TX are ready to help you.