The prospect of divorce can be particularly daunting for spouses in Texas and around the country who do not make day-to-day financial decisions. These spouses, who are most often wives, may be uncertain about ending unhappy marriages because they do not know the size of the marital estate, how much money has been put aside for retirement or whether they can expect to receive enough spousal support to live comfortably on their own.
The best way to address this uncertainty is to gather information that provides an accurate picture of a couple's financial position. Tax returns, bank statements and credit card bills are a good place to start. In addition to providing information about income, tax returns may also reveal how much money is being saved for retirement as these payments are usually tax deductible. If these documents are not readily available, they may be obtained by contacting an accountant or tax preparer.
Determining how much income a spouse will need to maintain their lifestyle after a divorce can be done by analyzing monthly expenses and spending. Spouses should bear in mind that they may face bills after getting divorced that they did not have to pay when they were married. Many financial institutions and several budgeting websites provide online tools that can make this task much easier.
Experienced family law attorneys may address these issues during an initial client consultation. They might also call on financial experts and retirement planners to provide more detailed information about the available options. The net worth statement that is submitted to the court in divorce cases is another source of information that can help spouses to make informed choices. When their clients have not been involved in making financial decisions, attorneys may pay particular attention to net worth statements to make sure that assets have not been concealed.