Documents You Need to Have to Prepare for Divorce in Texas
Before filing for divorce in Texas it is important to prepare. There are several different legal documents needed for divorce in Texas. It is important to collect these in advance. Prepare your parenting plan on how you will co-parent. It is also important to address financial considerations. For example, how assets will be divided and even how debt will be repaid are important to a well-thought-out divorce.
First, if you have children you and your spouse will need to develop your own separate proposed parenting plan for the children. So in preparing for your divorce you should sit down and prepare a document with the following information:
- What you would like the rights and duties of each parent to be;
- Your proposed custody and visitation arrangement;
- Your proposed child support arrangement, including health insurance; and
- A plan for how both parents can continue to develop a close relationship with the children following the divorce.
In addition, in case there ends up being a dispute over custody and visitation, you should also document the current relationship each child has with each parent. You should not only document how much time each parent spends with each child, but you should also document the activities each parent does with each child and what specific care each parent provides each child. This information will help the court determine which parent each child is used to being with. Remember, there is no guarantee that you will end up with the exact child custody, visitation, or support arrangement you want, but the more information you can provide the court the
greater likelihood the court will grant your requests.
Second, you and your spouse will need to divide your financial assets and liabilities. So, to prepare for divorce in Texas you should also collect all available documents about your financial assets and liabilities. This should include:
- Bank account statements;
- Brokerage account statements;
- Statements for all retirement accounts;
- All insurance or annuity policies;
- Tax returns for the past five years;
- Records regarding all debts;
- Employment records, including documentation of income and any fringe benefits;
- Any business records if you or your spouse owns a business; and
- Any pre or postnuptial marital agreements you have entered into with your spouse.
You and your spouse will also have to divide all of your physical property. To prepare for the property division you should collect:
- Deeds to any real property;
- Title information on any vehicles (cars, motorcycles, boats, etc.) owned; and
- A detailed listing of all physical property owned by you and your spouse.
After you have collected all of the physical property information you should also develop a written proposal for how you would like to see the property divided.
Finally, you should also collect the following miscellaneous information:
- Both spouse’s driver’s license and social security numbers;
- Your birth certificate;
- The date and location (city & state) of your spouse's birth;
- Your passport and social security card; and
- Your children's social security numbers/cards, birth certificates, and passports.
Remember that it is okay if you can't obtain all of these documents right away as you can continue to collect them as the divorce proceeds. However, it will make the process go quicker and easier if you can have as much of this information available as possible right from the start.