If you are a Texas resident debating divorce or have already been served with corresponding papers, one of the best places to begin is to collect the necessary documentation. Remember to keep this paperwork in a secure place, which might include a safe. If you have encountered marriage issues that cause you to be afraid of domestic violence, keeping documents in a secure and confidential location often becomes an even more critical issue.
To help you in the process of preparing the necessary documents for your divorce, this article reviews what types of paperwork you will likely need to file for divorce in Texas. Whether these filings occur with the initial divorce petition, during responses to interrogatories, or for trial, it helps to anticipate the following categories of important paperwork.
One of the best places to begin preparing for divorce is to make sure that you have corresponding state-issued identification. This might include a Texas (or any other state) driver’s license, Social Security card, and/or birth certificate.
This information is vital if you plan on submitting a divorce complaint or dissolution documents. If you have any children with your partner, it’s important to have these documents on hand too.
Documents addressing your income as well as the income of your spouse are vital to divorce. In most situations, a court must analyze your financial and employment status before weighing critical things like alimony, child support, and the division of marital assets.
Some of the types of income-related documents that you will likely need to prepare for the divorce process include:
Real estate is an important asset that must be taken into consideration during a divorce. Any real estate acquired during a marriage will subsequently be divided among spouses. Real estate that is owned separately could end up playing a role if marital funds were used to acquire the property or to perform maintenance on the real estate.
Some of the important real estate-associated documentation that you will likely need to provide during a divorce include:
To properly address all applicable matters during a divorce, courts require necessary documentation on all financial accounts. This includes both joint and separate accounts. Both parties in a divorce must fully disclose details about their assets. Any financial accounts that were either opened or contributed to during the marriage can end up being classified as marital property and as a result, must be appropriately assessed.
Some joint financial account documentation paperwork that you will likely need to provide during a divorce include:
In some situations, life insurance is viewed as marital property. Other times, life insurance is viewed as a type of spousal support. The value of life insurance is divided during divorce or courts sometimes request beneficiary changes to provide assets for child support.
Some of the statements concerning life insurance that you should be prepared to provide during a divorce include any paperwork suggesting either a balance or loan against existing policies.
Much like the presentation of financial assets, debt accumulation must be appropriately documented. Any debts entered into during a marriage must be disclosed as part of a person’s financial disclosure. Texas courts assess what constitutes marital debts and then divide these amounts as part of the divorce.
Some of the primary documents that you will need to prepare in this area include:
All retirement assets must be disclosed. The court must then decide how these assets will be divided among spouses. Any contributions made toward retirement accounts during a marriage are viewed as marital property. Any subsequent benefits could be viewed as a spousal benefit as well.
You should make sure to include a copy of any recent statements concerning 401(k) plans, IRAs, mutual funds, pension funds, or retirement funds.
Vehicles are a marital asset that is subjected to court-controlled divisions. Parties during a divorce must make sure to appropriately disclose details about any motor vehicles owned. Some important paperwork about motor vehicles that you will need to provide during a divorce include:
Estate plans address many important aspects of a person’s life including medical decisions and how assets should be handled after that person passes away. Some of the important estate planning documents that you should prepare in advance of your Texas divorce include:
You are not required by Texas law to establish fault during your divorce, but it often proves helpful to establish fault or defend against claims if you can do so. If either you or your soon-to-be former spouse is seeking a fault-based divorce, it is critical to collect appropriate evidence that you can either use to assert claims or defend against your spouse’s claims.
While this might seem like a lot of paperwork to prepare for your divorce, it helps to remember some helpful advice during this stressful time:
Besides paperwork, if you are debating divorce, one of the other wise things to do is to speak with an experienced divorce lawyer who has helped other people navigate this process. We understand what it takes to successfully proceed through divorce. Contact the Aberdeen Law Firm today to schedule a free case evaluation.
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