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Protecting yourself from financial misconduct during a divorce

In Texas, you share your belongings with your spouse as community property. When you divorce, each of you should receive your share of your marital assets. From the equity in your home to the money in your savings account, you will share almost everything that you possess.

You could have a prenuptial agreement to help you split your property. If not, you could negotiate your own settlement, possibly in mediation, or head to court to have a judge assist with the process.

Unfortunately, some people will engage in unfair behavior in an attempt to retain more of the marital estate or to feel like they won in the divorce proceedings. Dissipation or wasteful misuse of marital assets is a common form of financial misconduct during divorces. How can you protect yourself from dissipation?

Get copies of your financial records

If you can show what assets were in your marital estate and demonstrate how much your spouse gave away, destroyed or wasted, the evidence of their misconduct can influence how a Texas family law judge divides your remaining property. Similarly, if you can show that a significant amount of your marital debt was taken on by your spouse in an effort to saddle you with financial responsibility, you could prevent documentation to the courts about that as well.

Ask for judges to consider the misconduct

Evidence of wasteful spending or destroying marital property must have context. You will need to explain to the judge how this behavior deviated from your standard financial practices. Judges may exclude debts accumulated as dissipation from division or factor in the value of wasted assets when dividing other property.

Holding your ex accountable for misconduct during property division proceedings will set you up for the best possible future after your divorce.