Typically there is a surge of divorce filings in January every year after a difficult holiday season and think about making big changes in their lives. This recent Market Watch article is a good read for those considering divorce soon. It includes information on how to prepare yourself with research, records, and your mind. Read our synopsis below, then read the original article for more detailed information.
Do Some Research
Before filing divorce papers, there is some critical research you need to do. You need three important professionals to guide you through the financial and legal implications of a divorce: a psychologist to help you make clear-headed decisions, a financial planner to guide you through the financial implications, and a divorce lawyer to steer you through the whole process. A collaborative divorce lawyer can be extremely valuable in a low conflict divorce. By using the collaborative process, a divorce is less stressful, more productive, and doesn’t leave the family in a tangled, angry mess.
Another thing to consider is the split of property. In Texas, all marital assets are treated as community property, meaning that all assets acquired during the marriage will be split equally in a divorce.
Gather Your Records
Your marital tax status for the entire year is determined on December 31, but you should first take some other tax considerations into account. It’s possible for a divorced couple to lose their income tax deductions. If your ex spouse earns significantly less than you, they may qualify for income tax deductions while you do not. If you have invested in the stock market, liquidating a stock and splitting the proceeds could result in a large capital gains tax.
Is It the Right Time?
Though divorce is typically a very emotional decision, often the biggest implications are financial. Meeting with your lawyer, financial planner, and psychologist might open up options you hadn’t thought of, or help you decide to put off divorce until you’re better prepared. For example, if one partner relies on the spouse’s company health insurance, separation may be a better option. If you’re unsure about divorce in 2016, you should consider all of your options and the consequences of each. Talking to a lawyer doesn’t mean you’re fickle, it means you’re being smart about your future.