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Divorce issues may require careful assessment of one's finances

Friday, September 22, 2017

When one spouse files for divorce after decades of marriage, the other spouse may feel blindsided. People in Texas in this situation may have no idea how to prepare for futures that are very different from the ones they anticipated with their spouses. It may be even more complicated when the spouse who decides to end the marriage is the one who handled the money and dealt with the family finances. This may leave the former partner dealing with a multitude of confusing divorce issues.

Although it may seem daunting, one of the first steps a person might take when faced with an unexpected divorce is to survey one's finances. This may be especially important if the spouse has handled the budget throughout the marriage. Checking one's credit report, inventorying assets and understanding obligations to creditors will be helpful before beginning to build one's own financial life. It may also be necessary to re-evaluate one's standard of living and make choices that will not create economic hardships as one gets older.

A person may feel that a spouse is being generous by offering to give up the house as part of the settlement. However, one should consider the future when weighing this option. If the house is expensive to maintain or will need costly repairs, it may be more of a burden than a gift. After careful examination of one's income and expenses, it may be more beneficial to sell the house than to take on the responsibility of its upkeep.

In all likelihood, the divorcing spouse will retain his or her own lawyer, and it may be to one's advantage to do the same. It may feel easier to trust one's spouse or well-meaning friends when it comes to divorce issues, but many in Texas find the best advice comes from an experienced attorney. Having an attorney on one's side will ensure that one's best interests are protected throughout the process.

Source: usatoday.com, "Divorce decision: Keep the house or sell it?", Peter Dunn, Aug. 6, 2016

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