How can you protect your finances while going through a divorce?

On Behalf of | Aug 5, 2021 | Family Law |

Many married couples in Texas may find themselves deciding that divorce is the only option left. You and your spouse may ultimately come to the conclusion that your marriage is no longer worth saving. If you’ve been married for many years, you will want to protect your finances during the divorce.

Inventory everything you own and owe

With so many years behind your marriage, you’ve probably gotten a lot of assets. Take inventory of everything you own, whether it’s a vehicle, house, or retirement account. You should then turn to any debts you owe, including mortgage, car payments, credit card debt, and more. Subtract your debts from your assets to get the value of your estate.

Familiarize yourself with pensions

If you’re an older person with a pension, it can be split during your divorce. This can happen even if your spouse has hardly anything toward their retirement. It can be a blow to your financial future and possibly force you to resume working after you’ve retired.

Acknowledge that you may be wrong about what’s yours

Sometimes, you may be wrong about what property is yours. Same-sex couples may be especially prone to this issue. You may think everything will be divided equally, but in some cases, the judge may award your spouse certain property or assets. For example, a same-sex couple that was together for decades but was only able to legally marry after the Marriage Equality Act was passed may have this problem.

Annuities can be complex

You may need to know the provisions of your annuity. Sometimes, they can be split, but sometimes, there may be penalties if you do that. You may be able to keep your annuity and have payments in a joint bank account that allows you to split it.

Update your beneficiaries

When you go through a divorce, you should update your beneficiaries. You probably have your spouse named, but you will want to change that after you end the marriage. You will probably want to name your children instead.

Create a trust

If you have children, you will want to establish a trust to ensure that they get the assets and property you want to leave them. This is especially important if you remarry. Your spouse could potentially disinherit your kids if you die before them and you don’t have a trust in place.

While divorce is always difficult, you can make it easier by protecting your finances. It will make your transition back to single status easier.