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Are you protected in the event of a non-amicable divorce?

If engaged couples ponder divorce at all, it is usually because they have chosen to complete a prenuptial agreement before the big day. Even then, though, it is difficult to think a divorce could happen. Furthermore, most newlyweds often assume that, in the sad event that a divorce does occur, it would certainly be amicable. However, non-amicable divorces are a reality for many Houston couples, and it is sometimes best for the couple to plan for the worst and hope for the best.

If a couple is anticipating divorce, there are several things spouses can do to protect their interests in the upcoming property division process. First, a spouse can locate his or her financial records, photocopy them and ensure they are kept in a safe space where they cannot be stolen or altered. Another step to take is to deal joint accounts. Many spouses find it helpful to withdraw their portion of money, or half, from a joint account and open up their own account prior to filing for divorce. The reason for this is that after filing for divorce, many judges urge spouses not to move money from joint accounts.

Property division in Texas involves distinguishing between personal property and marital property, which can be more complicated than it sounds. As a result, it's important for spouses to come up with an inventory of property they received or earned as an individual, prior to getting married. Proof that something is a gift or an heirloom is also helpful, as is photographing important items and perhaps even storing them in a secure place if necessary.

Though Texas is a community property state, this does not mean property division is simple or black-and-white. Spouses can often negotiate for assets they want while acknowledging there are things that will go to the other spouse. A family lawyer can help spouses understand the rules of community property and protect their property interests during an amicable or non-amicable proceeding.

Source: GoBankingRates.com, "How to perfectly plan your divorce to protect your assets," Amanda Garcia, Jan. 8, 2014

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Attorney Christine K. Lincoln

Christine K. Lincoln offers sound counsel and legal services to protect clients and their families facing divorce and other family disputes.

She will take the time to understand your individual needs and develop a comprehensive solution to protect your rights and interests.

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