Financial Disclosures in Divorces
When a couple divorces, the court must determine how their joint assets and liabilities should be divided, and in some instances, whether spousal maintenance is appropriate. As such, parties in a divorce action are required to exchange financial information. While some parties may be reluctant to share evidence regarding their income and property, there are strict penalties for failing to abide by the rules regarding financial disclosures in divorces. If you intend to seek a dissolution of your marriage, it is crucial to understand what data you must share with your estranged spouse and what impact a divorce will have on your finances. The knowledgeable Dallas divorce attorneys of McClure Law Group are proficient at helping parties protect their interests during dissolution proceedings, and if you hire us, we will advocate zealously on your behalf.Initial Financial Disclosures in Divorces
According to Texas law, parties in divorce actions must provide certain financial information to each other within thirty days of when the responding party files a response to the petition for dissolution. The information must be provided without waiting for a discovery request. Parties may waive their right to initial financial disclosures, but such waivers must be in writing.
The material that must be exchanged includes all information regarding deeds and liens on any property that they own and lease information for property that they rent, as well as statements for any retirement or pension plans, profit-sharing plans, and employee benefit plans. They must also produce any policies and statements for health, life, casualty, and liability insurance, and statements for any bank accounts and accounts at brokerage firms, credit unions, and savings and loan institutions. They must provide this information for the last two years or since the beginning of the marriage, whichever is less.
If child support or spousal support is at issue in a divorce action, the parties must also exchange their income-tax returns for the past two years, or if they have not filed returns, their W-2 or 1099 forms and their Schedule K-1s. They must also provide one another with information regarding all statements, policies, and benefits provided under any health- or medical-insurance coverage that is or would be available for the spouse or child.Financial Disclosures in Divorces Involving Requests for Spousal Support
In Texas, spousal support, or maintenance, will only be awarded in cases in which the court finds, among other requirements, that the party seeking support will lack sufficient assets to provide for their minimum reasonable needs upon dissolution of the marriage. Factors the court evaluates in determining the amount, nature, and duration of maintenance include each party’s ability to provide for themselves in consideration of their financial resources, and the impact a support obligation would have on the obligor spouse’s ability to provide for themselves.
Thus, in addition to the initial financial disclosures required in divorces, parties in cases involving requests for spousal support must also complete a Proposed Support Decision and Information form to provide the courts with a clear picture of their finances. The form requires the parties to list all of the income they derive from any source, and any liabilities, such as mortgages, health care premiums, car payments, taxes, and credit card debts.Confer with a Skilled Dallas Attorney
Full and accurate financial disclosures in divorces are essential for obtaining a fair outcome. If you wish to seek a divorce, it is advisable to confer with an attorney regarding your rights and obligations. The skilled Dallas lawyers of McClure Law Group are mindful of the emotional and financial consequences of ending a marriage, and if you hire us, we will work tirelessly to help you seek a prompt and equitable dissolution. Our main office is in Dallas, and we are available by appointment for consultations at our Collin-County office in Plano. We regularly represent people in divorce actions in Dallas, Frisco, Fort Worth, Irving, McKinney, Richardson, Rockwall, and Garland. We also help parties with family law issues in cities in Dallas, Rockwall, Denton, Collin, Tarrant, and Grayson Counties. You can reach us by calling 214.692.8200, or by using our online form to set up a meeting.