Some couples in Texas who are getting married might not think that planning for divorce should be a part of those preparations. However, they could think about it as similar to taking safety precautions when getting into a vehicle. Planning ahead may help a person avoid being at a financial disadvantage later if a divorce happens.
Couples can create a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement depending on whether they are married yet. These agreements can outline how the couple wants shared property divided in case of a divorce and what assets and debts they want to keep separate. If the couple is not yet married and the individuals have any assets that are difficult to appraise, they may want to have them valuated before the marriage. A business might be one of these types of assets.
Even couples who have joint accounts might want to also create separate accounts. These accounts can be used for any expenses that are in just one person’s name. If a person receives an inheritance and does not want it to be considered marital property, it should go into the individual account. If the inheritance is a piece of property, such as a house, the person should not use marital funds on expenses associated with it.
Without these precautions in place, in a community property state like Texas, most assets a couple acquires after marriage are considered marital property. They are supposed to be divided equally, but the couple may negotiate an agreement for property division that is fair without being exactly a 50/50 division of each debt or asset. In these negotiations, individuals should try to strike a balance between protecting themselves financially and impeding the progress of the divorce. If the couple cannot reach an agreement, they might have to go to court.