If you are the primary breadwinner in your family, you may worry about how a divorce may affect your finances. Will Texas’ community property laws force you to split everything you own 50/50 with your spouse?
Community property state laws do mandate 50/50 splits, but not all assets in a marriage are marital property. Each situation is different, but there are ways to secure assets before, during and after marriage.
Keeping assets separate
NerdWallet reminds married people that their assets can remain separate. You may believe that prenuptial and postnuptial agreements are for the rich and famous, but they can serve any socioeconomic group.
Here are other steps you may follow:
- Keep careful records of who brought what into the marriage
- Consider the funds used to purchase, build or renovate a home
- Consider which spouse goes on the title and loans for each asset
- Use joint accounts for joint expenses and individual accounts for everything else
Avoiding money mistakes during a divorce
When a divorce becomes imminent, there are other aspects you should consider as you prepare. CNBC recommends checking your personal budget as a starting point. How much will you need to get by on and will you need to downsize? If asked to pay spousal support, how much can you afford?
It is also important to start looking up financial accounts and documents. You may need to figure out how to split the retirement account and what tax complications may arise from taking this route. It may also be time to revise and update all the estate planning you may have done before.
When breadwinners divorce, they often feel guilty for leaving financially dependent partners on their own. This may cause them to agree to give up more in the short term than they can afford to keep up with in the long run. Prioritize fairness in a divorce but remember the importance of maintaining your financial stability as well.