When you decide to divorce, you aren’t sure how that will impact your finances. You may have been married for a decade and bought a home, a country club membership and accumulated some investments with your spouse. Now, you will split those assets in divorce. Yet does that mean your spouse automatically get half of these assets?

Texas: A community property state

Texas is one of nine U.S. states that are community property states in divorce. In community property states, assets acquired during a marriage are split 50/50. Even if you bought your home before you married, your spouse may receive some of its value in divorce. If you both paid toward the mortgage or maintenance costs, your spouse could be entitled to some of the home’s worth.

Dividing assets in divorce

Before you begin to divide your assets, you and your spouse will need to gather all financial information. You will need documentation of:

·       Your retirement accounts

·       Your income

·       Your savings and investment accounts

·       Your mortgage information

·       Your financial information for a business you own

·       A listing of your furniture, household goods, sporting goods, vehicles and their estimated worth

·       Your memberships and airline miles accounts

You also will need to someone to establish a current value for your home. One other thing to keep in mind is that divorcing couples also split their joint debts, such as joint credit card debt, mortgage debt, medical debt and joint vehicle loan debt.

Deciding what’s important to you

You may want to think about what assets you care most about keeping as you split your assets in divorce. Maybe you’re willing to give up more of your retirement funds to keep the marital home. With your divorce attorney’s help, you can negotiate with your spouse about dividing your assets equally and settling the details of your divorce. Your attorney also can help you determine if you have separate property that you can keep.

It will take time to negotiate dividing your assets in divorce. But once you do, you can move forward, get a fresh start and rebuild your assets on your own.