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Managing finances after a divorce

Texas estranged couples will need to address a number of financial matters during and after a divorce. For example, if they owned a home, it will likely need to be sold or refinanced. There may also be a retirement account that needs to be divided. Certain types of retirement accounts require a document called a qualified domestic relations order to avoid taxes and penalties. People need to understand this and any other rules around the division of these accounts.

Establishing credit is also important. Joint accounts should be closed and new individual ones set up. People should also revise their estate plan, including the will and any beneficiary designations. If the divorce is not yet final, some documents may require permission from the spouse to be removed.

People should know how their health insurance will change after the divorce and whether it is necessary to set up COBRA coverage. A person should also create a budget. This may include putting together a team who can help with legal and financial advice. If the person is supposed to receive child or spousal support, a plan should be set up for how this will be paid. The person might also want to look into how these payments would be enforced.

In Texas, a community property state, each person is supposed to get an equal amount of the marital property in a divorce. Most assets acquired after marriage will be considered shared property. If a person brings an asset such as a retirement account into the marriage, the amount the account appreciates during the marriage might be considered the portion that is shared property. An attorney can often be of assistance in negotiating an appropriate settlement agreement.

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