How to Prepare for a Divorce in Texas: The Checklist to File for Divorce

petition to file for divorce

As absurd as it might sound, a divorce starts before the Original Petition for Divorce is ever filed. Once one or both parties decide to get a divorce, they will have to take the necessary steps to prepare and gather documentation for their divorce case.

It is advisable to contact a knowledgeable attorney to help you prepare for your divorce in Texas. A Williamson County divorce attorney at The Law Office of Brett H. Pritchard will help you navigate the legal process and ensure that you do everything you need to prepare for your divorce.

Preparing for a Divorce Financially

First and foremost, before you file a petition for divorce, you need to prepare not only emotionally and psychologically but also financially. As you probably know, divorce is a costly process. The cost of your divorce depends on several factors we talked about in our blog.

Before you file for divorce, it is important to make sure that you are prepared for it financially. In fact, the legal costs and attorney’s fees are not the only expenses you should prepare for. For many people, housing expenses associated with moving to a new place after filing for divorce can have a significant impact on their budget.

If you and your spouse lived together during the marriage, one of you would most likely have to move out and find a new apartment or house before or after a petition for divorce is filed unless, of course, you are prepared to live together while your divorce case is pending.

You should consider the housing costs even if you are the spouse who stays in the house and your spouse moves out. Can you pay for the housing bills and living costs on your own now that your spouse no longer pays their share?

When going through a divorce in Texas, it takes a lot of financial planning to make sure that you can survive the divorce process financially, especially if you are unemployed or have a part-time job. If that is the case, you may have to find a new job to earn enough income to cover your housing expenses during the divorce.

It is advisable to consult with a knowledgeable divorce lawyer to find out your options and determine how you can prepare yourself financially.

The Divorce Checklist in Texas

Here’s an overview – or the checklist, if you will – of the things you should do before filing for divorce in Texas:

  • Consider marriage counseling if there is a chance for reconciliation

  • Make a list of all the property and assets that rightfully belong to you (you owned them before the marriage or received them as a gift or inheritance while you have been married)

  • Consider speaking with an attorney to find out what you can do to better prepare for your divorce in Texas

  • Decide whether you want to stay in the marital house or move out to find a new place to live during the divorce process

  • Make copies of all the documents that may be necessary during divorce proceedings

  • Make sure that you have enough money to afford the living expenses after moving out or staying in the marital residence

  • If you have a Last Will and Testament, consider updating it if you are planning to file for divorce

  • Open a credit card, a checking, and savings account in your name

  • Get a free credit report

Your lawyer will help you stay organized throughout the divorce process to ensure that you secure a favorable outcome in your case. Schedule a free case review with our divorce lawyers at The Law Office of Brett H. Pritchard to talk about your situation.

Gathering Information to Prepare for Your Divorce

If you are considering filing for divorce, you can start gathering the necessary information and compiling the documentation for your divorce case. Being organized and proactive can give you an edge. Previously, we talked about the benefits of filing for divorce first.

Gathering information before filing for divorce can help you save tons of time, energy, and money during the divorce process. If you have done everything we mentioned in our checklist above, you can proceed with gathering the following information for your divorce:

  • Your tax returns for the last five years

  • Your pay stubs for the past three months

  • Corporate and partnership tax returns

  • Credit card and bank statements

  • Retirement account and pension plan statements

  • Investment account statements

  • Automobile registrations

  • Car loan statements

  • Proof of state residency

  • Real estate appraisals or market value opinions

  • Mortgage statements

  • Life insurance policies

  • Social Security benefits statements

  • Prenuptial or postnuptial agreements

  • Information about your spouse’s employment and salary

  • Information about previous marriages

  • Information about children

  • Current custody arrangements, if any

That is not the full list of documents that you need to prepare for your divorce case in Texas. If you are not fully aware of your finances and property when filing for divorce, do not worry. Texas law requires both spouses to complete financial affidavits during the divorce proceedings to ensure that all assets and liabilities are accounted for.

Once you have gathered all the necessary information and documentation for your divorce, you can proceed with filing an Original Petition for Divorce. It is advisable to contact an attorney to help you prepare the divorce paperwork and ensure that you fill out the forms correctly.

Contact a Williamson County Divorce Attorney

Many people overlook the importance of hiring a skilled attorney when filing for divorce. However, being represented by a knowledgeable divorce attorney can make a huge difference in your case.

Your divorce lawyer will help you prepare for the divorce and navigate the legal process. Your attorney will also compile all the documents and information you need to move forward with your case.

Speak with our results-driven divorce attorney at The Law Office of Brett H. Pritchard to discuss how you can prepare for your divorce case in Texas. Call (254) 220-4225 to receive a free consultation.
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