Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Tuesday Tips: Help Your Attorney Help You!

In every divorce, there are financial issues.  They may be about a home, investments, a business or businesses, retirement assets, bank accounts, employment benefits, debts or taxes, among other things.  Dividing assets and liabilities is at the heart of every divorce.  Some cases are more or less complicated than others, but finances are always involved.

In addition, when there are children, child support is often a consideration and that brings up the income of each party.  You will need pay stubs, tax returns and a monthly budget.

All of that means when you are getting divorced, plan on gathering and producing financial records for your attorney.  Those records are generally going to be shared with the other side, either voluntarily or in response to formal Discovery.  You will need bank and credit card statements, retirement account statements, mortgage statements, investment records and probably many other records.  Your attorney can tell what will be needed.

The sooner you provide financial information to your attorney, the sooner your attorney can understand the marital estate and start helping you meet your needs and interests.

Remember, there's no 50-50 rule in Texas for dividing assets.  You need to think ahead and decide what you want to end up with.  Your attorney can try to help you achieve you goals if the attorney knows your goals and needs and if you have provided the information the attorney needs.

Sometimes you may not have access to all or some of the financial information.  Your attorney can request that information from the other side, but you need to give your attorney some information to know what to look for and ask for.

Be an active partner in your own divorce.  Help your attorney by providing financial information as soon as possible!

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