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How to Prepare for Divorce in Texas

Sophia Merton
September 22, 2023

Dissolving a marriage is no small endeavor-- it is an emotional, financial, and legal process that can feel completely overwhelming even when you and your spouse are on good terms. Taking the time to learn how to prepare for divorce in Texas can help make the whole ordeal much less stressful.

Are you interested in figuring out what you can do now to make your divorce go more smoothly? This article goes over the basic concepts you should be concerned with and actions you should take as you begin your transition to a new life.

Put a Team Together

When you realize you're getting divorced, one of the first things you'll want to do is make sure you're not alone. Divorce is difficult for everyone, and the more support you can find, the better.

Support comes in a number of different ways, and it's best to have a big group of people around you that can each play their own roles. For example, you don't want to treat your lawyer like your therapist, nor do you want to treat your friend like your attorney.

Emotional Support

Having someone to talk to during this time is absolutely key.

woman receiving emotional support from friend during divorce in texas

In addition to family members and friends, you might find it useful to meet with a professional counselor or minister.

Physical Support

Figuring out how to cope with stress is essential during the divorce process. Your body will want to load up on cortisol and adrenaline in order to fuel you through this crazy time, but you don't want those chemicals to be in your system for a long time.

Make sure you take care of your body even when it feels like you just don't have time. Find people to go for walks with or a gym buddy. Make sure you're prioritizing getting good sleep and focusing on your health first.

Legal Support

Even if you decide to get a DIY divorce, it can be useful to connect with some lawyers who specialize in Texas Family Law so that you can reach out if you have a question or two. Furthermore, you might find it's worth paying a lawyer to look over your documents before you file them.

Most people will find it's worth getting a lawyer rather than getting a pro se divorce. Whichever way you go, though, having some people on your team who can offer legal support can make a huge difference in how smoothly the process goes.

Spiritual Support

Divorce is one of the most difficult things anyone could go through. Whether you're the one who initiated the divorce, you're on the receiving end, or it was a mutual decision, you're likely struggling with some pretty big questions.

rock cairn on beach as a part of spiritual support in texas divorce

Whether or not you're a religious person, finding some people who can offer spiritual support during this time can be a big help. This could mean joining a church, a meditation group, or holding a casual spiritual book club with your friends.

Financial Support

Probably one of the most stressful aspects of your divorce is going to be dealing with the financial changes that come along with the process.

Unless you and your spouse have no assets or debts, it's likely a good idea for you to talk to a financial planner. They'll be able to help you create a plan for your post-divorce finances which will go a long way in creating a smooth transition.

Support For Your Kids

If you have children, it's important to be sensitive to the ways that divorce can be very difficult for them. Whether they're infants or young adults, having one's parents split up can really shake up a kid's life.

father hugging daughter and supporting her during his texas divorce

No matter how terrible your spouse is being during the divorce process, it's essential not to drag your kids into it. Do what you can to avoid speaking negatively about their other parent and make sure they have the support they need. While there's a lot you can do as a parent, sometimes it can be helpful if they have other trustworthy adults they can share their feelings with, such as a counselor or minister.

Start Collecting Information and Documents

You're going to need to gather a bunch of personal information for your divorce in Texas, and it can help reduce stress and make things go more smoothly if you do so ahead of time.

Personal Information

You'll need to gather information about you and your spouse, including:

  • Full legal names
  • Addresses where legal papers can be sent or served
  • Birthdates
  • Social Security numbers
  • Employers' name and contact information
  • Hourly wages or salaries
  • Length of employment

You'll also need to find proof of state residency for yourself and take the time to access all of your usernames and passwords (and change them) for any online accounts you have. Your proof of state residency is important for your attorneys to help follow the divorce laws in Texas, while your usernames and passwords will allow you to make all of your accounts private.

Marital Information

Your attorney is going to want to know some of the details of your marriage and divorce.

There are a number of pieces of info you can share with them to help make the process easier, including:

  • Copies of past marriage certificates and past divorce certificates, along with an explanation for why you've previously been divorced
  • The date and location of where you and your current spouse got married
  • Dates and locations of marriage counseling you and your spouse attended
  • The names of the people who witnessed and signed your marriage license
  • The reason you are getting divorced now, such as incompatibility or infidelity

One of the hardest things about divorce is that you are taking something very personal and sharing it through a fairly rigid system. When you're explaining to your attorney what went wrong in your marriage, try to keep it short and sweet. Beyond that, do what you can to remain as professional as possible.

Family Information

You'll also need to collect personal info for your kids, but not all children need to be included in the process.

kids playing whose parents are getting divorced in texas

Information on any children under eighteen, whether they are from this marriage, a past marriage, or adopted, will need to be gathered. The same is true for children over eighteen with a long-term disability. However, children over eighteen don't need to be involved.

Consider Whether Your Property Is Community or Separate

Texas is a community property state.

This means that marital assets and debts are, in most cases, split equally. All property and earnings that are acquired when the two of you are married are considered to be property owned together by both of you-- aka community property. It doesn't matter whether only your name is on the title or it was your income that paid for it-- if it wasn't an inheritance, gift, or personal injury settlement, anything acquired during the marriage belongs to both of you in the eyes of the law.

If you believe that some of your property is "separate property," meaning it belongs to you and not your spouse, you'll have to prove it. This means you'll likely need receipts that show the date of acquisition, documents proving something was received as an inheritance or gift, and so on.

Update Important Legal Documents

Next, you'll want to find and copy any legal documents pertaining to:

  • Insurance policies
  • Taxes
  • End-of-life plans
  • Businesses either you and/or your spouse own

These documents will be essential both to prove your personal information and to help you make important changes like updating your insurance policies.

Figure Out Your Living Situation

Whether you and your spouse decide to go your separate ways until the divorce is finalized or one of you needs to move out, it's never too soon to start thinking about what your options are. Of course, if it's unsafe for you and your kids to stay in the house, you'll want to get out of there right away.

Are you trying to figure out what's going to happen to your assets after divorce? Make sure you check out our posts about who gets the kids, the house, and the car in Texas.

Remember to Take Care of Yourself

Finally, amidst everything else that's going on, it's important to remember to allow yourself time and space to grieve. Beyond that, it's important not to neglect yourself and make sure you are prioritizing your own mental and physical well-being.

Getting Divorced: Knowledge Is Power

Preparing for divorce involves many different aspects of your life-- your finances, your assets, your emotional life, and more. One of the best things you can do to get ready for divorce is learn as much as you can about how the process works. When you have a clear sense of what to expect, it can significantly reduce your stress.

Are you searching for more resources to help you learn about getting divorced in Texas? If so, make sure you head over to our Texas Divorce Laws blog.

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Written By:
Sophia Merton
Sophia received her BA from Vassar College. She is a researcher and writer that aims to help make the complexities of the legal system understandable to the layperson. Believing that people can be empowered by understanding their rights and responsibilities under the law, Sophia aims to offer accurate and well-researched information in straightforward and easy-to-digest legal articles.

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