Texas Pre-Divorce Guidance

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What To Do Before Filing for Divorce

Whether it is mutual and amicable, or contentious, a divorce is a complex and challenging process. Filing for divorce can fill you with frustration, fear, and uncertainty. These emotions can often blur your vision, preventing you from thinking strategically and rationally before acting. 

At Goranson Bain Ausley, we educate clients on the divorce process and provide a road map on what to expect along the way. Most importantly, we listen with compassion, educate you on your options, and help you make informed decisions to successfully move forward after divorce.

How an Attorney Can Help You Plan for Divorce

Although advice from divorced friends and family may be comforting, the divorce process is unique to every couple. Because divorce is not a one size fits all endeavor, it’s essential to speak to an attorney about the facts of your case and develop a plan based on your specific situation.

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Create a Pre-Divorce Checklist 

Divorce can be stressful and seeing the road ahead can be intimidating. However, properly preparing for divorce by having a checklist in place can make the process that much smoother.

Here are a few things to consider doing before filing for divorce. 

Come Up with a Financial Plan 

Do you and your spouse have a joint bank account? What are your monthly expenses and income? These are questions you need to ask yourself before filing for divorce. You will need to be financially independent for a minimum of 90 days after you file for divorce, so you need to save money to bridge the financial gap between when you file for divorce and when you obtain court orders for support from your spouse. 

Consider Where You Will Reside

Where do you plan on living after filing for divorce? Some couples continue to reside together in their marital home after a divorce is filed, especially if they have children together. However, depending on the circumstances surrounding your divorce, this may or may not be a feasible option for you. If not, think about where you could live or stay after filing for divorce.

Take Inventory of Property

Do you have documentation of the assets you own? It’s important to have photographs of everything in your marital home before filing for divorce, especially if you plan on residing elsewhere until the divorce is finalized. It’s always a possibility that your spouse may remove, sell, or damage property during the divorce process, so it’s important to have photographic evidence of its existence.    

Gather Relevant Documents 

When you go through a divorce, you will need to provide your attorney with financial documents through the discovery process. These documents include tax returns, credit card statements, medical records, and more. The sooner you gather these critical documents, the easier the divorce process will go, especially if your spouse has the original documents in hand. If your spouse has the information before you do, it can be expensive and time-consuming to obtain copies. Before filing for divorce, create copies and download digital copies of all your paperwork to an external hard drive.

Please download our Divorce Guide and this PDF for a pre-divorce checklist.

How Long Do I Need to Be Separated Before I Can File for Divorce in Texas?

There is no separation requirement to file for divorce in Texas. As long as you meet residency and filing requirements, you can file for divorce at any time, whether your spouse is cooperative or not.

Work with Our Experienced Divorce Lawyers 

At Goranson Bain Ausley, our Dallas, Plano and Austin based attorneys can guide you every step of the way. Whether you’re contemplating divorce or are ready to file, a highly experienced lawyer will walk you through your options and give you all the information you need to prepare. Please get in touch with us to schedule a pre-divorce guidance consultation. You can also get started online with our confidential online questionnaire.

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