Things to Do Before Filing for Divorce in Texas

Ben Carrasco
3 min readDec 1, 2016


If you’re planning to get a divorce, emotions are likely high for you right now. This is understandable. Most people don’t reach this decision without feelings of hurt, anger, frustration, sadness, and more. As hard as it may be though, it’s important to take a step back from your emotions and line things up so you can be protected during the divorce. Take your time, and don’t jump in without doing these things first.

Find the Right Attorney

All divorce attorneys are not created equal. Make sure you hire someone who has several years of experience in family law. Your attorney should be skilled at making quick, but fair, settlements, as well as litigating should that become necessary. Remember, many of the decisions, especially financial decisions, made in a divorce settlement are permanent. You want someone who will do what’s best for you. It’s more than appropriate to interview attorneys until you find one who has the right qualifications. Interviewing will also give you a sense of personality, and if the attorney will actually listen to you. Make sure your attorney doesn’t jump to solutions without listening to the specific facts in your case.

Make a Plan for Child Custody

If you have children, you will likely be sharing custody of them with your spouse. Before the divorce, make a sample schedule that gives time to both you and your spouse. This will help with negotiations, and will help you stay on track throughout the process.

Organize Your Finances

Do you know how much money you and your spouse have? How much debt you have? What about your assets? And do you have separate accounts? The divorce process involves equitable distribution of marital assets. You’ll need to know what is owned in your marriage, and what is owed. Consider all assets, including inheritances, pension plans, and belongings. Get a copy of your credit report to understand the debt in your marriage. Gather documentation of everything involved in your finances. The decisions reached in your case will depend on documents.

If you’re worried your spouse might clean out the bank accounts, protect your money by opening a new account in your name only, and deposit half of your shared accounts into it. This should only be done with your spouse’s knowledge, and you should document your spending so it can be accounted for during settlement negotiations. Your attorney can advise you best on how to handle this.

Determine Income

Gather documents that prove both your income and your spouse’s income. This would be recent pay stubs and your most recent tax return if you’re both salaried employees. If you or your spouse is self-employed, proof of income is trickier. Make copies of bank statements and financial business statements to get an understanding.

Understand Your Post-Divorce Budget

Will you need to find a new place to live after the divorce? Will you continue driving the same vehicle? What are your children’s needs? Factor in all of these items when determining a post-divorce budget. Understanding this budget will help you get what you deserve in the divorce settlement.

Decide Where to Live Until the Divorce Is Final

You’re done with your relationship, but should you move out of the house before the divorce is final? In most cases, it is best to stay put as difficult as that may be. Leaving your home could mean your spouse takes over the mortgage payments, something a judge will factor into property distribution. If you have children at home, staying in the home is safer for future child custody decisions. However, if there is abuse occurring, and you need to leave the home for your safety, then absolutely do so.

No matter what, make sure you make the decision with the help of your attorney.

Gather Support

A divorce is a difficult time, and you’ll need the support of family, friends and trusted professionals to help you get through. Experienced divorce attorney, Ben Carrasco, will help you navigate the process. Contact Ben Carrasco at (512) 320–9126, or request a consultation online.

Related resources:
10 Ways to Ruin Your Child Custody Battle
Divorce Basics in Texas
What is a Prenp?