EXPERIENCE MATTERS WHEN IT COMES TO TACKLING TOUGH CASES!

Based in Dallas, Texas, the Nacol Law Firm PC, traces its roots to the firm of Mark A. Nacol and Associates PC, established in 1979. The Nacol Law Firm team shares its experience on a variety of legal topics here.  See our recent posts below.

Texas Divorce Checklist : Financial Information

Preparing for a Texas Divorce:  Assets

Going through a Divorce is painful no matter the circumstances. Before you get into the Texas Divorce Process, you can reduce expense, stress, and conflict by making sure you are financially prepared. Advanced planning helps you in making sound decisions, start preparing for post-divorce life, and avoid many post-divorce pitfalls. Below is a list of items you need to gather before counseling with an attorney. Financial Documents are a must to show what your true assets and liabilities are in the marriage. This is a very general checklist. Disregard what is not pertinent to your situation.

Documents:

  1. Taxes (at least three years) 
  • Federal Tax Return
  • State Tax Return
  • W2
  • Tax Liens
  • All other IRS related documents
  1. Wills and Trusts with all attachments reflecting corpus and trust holdings
  2. Listing of all liabilities (including mortgages, credit card debt, personal loans, automobile loans, student loans, etc.):
  • Name of entity, address, and telephone number
  • Account number
  • Amount owed
  • Monthly payment 
  • Property securing payment (if any)
  • Most current statements and account status of lenders (from last 3 years)
  1. A Listing of the address and location of all Real Property, (includes time-shares, vacation properties, commercial property, and lots):
  • Deeds of Trust
  • Notes including equity loans and second liens
  • Legal Descriptions
  • Mortgage Companies and Loan Servicers (Name, Address, Telephone Number, Account Number, Balance of Note, Monthly Payments) for all Primary and Secondary Mortgages
  • Evidence of purchase gift or inheritance documents
  • Current fair market value.
  • Appraisals
  1. Motor Vehicles (including mobile homes, boats, trailers, motorcycles, recreational vehicles; exclude company owned):
  • Year, Make, Model of all Motor Vehicles
  • Value
  • Name on title
  • VIN Number
  • Fair Market Value
  • Name of creditor (if any), address and telephone
  • Persons listed on debt
  • Account number
  • Balance of any loan and monthly payment
  • Net Equity in vehicle
  • Current statements from last 3 years
  1. Cash and accounts with financial institutions (checking, savings, commercial bank accounts, credit union funds, IRA’s, CD’s, 401K’s, pension plans and any other form of retirement accounts):
  • Name of institution, address, and telephone number
  • Amount in institution on date of marriage
  • Amount in institution currently
  • Names on Account and Account Number
  • Social Security Documents
  • Pension Documents
  • Company loans and documents related to benefits
  • At least 3 years statements on all pertinent accounts
  1. A listing of separate property (property owned prior to marriage, family heir looms, property gifted, inherited property):
  • Records that trace your separate property. These assets will remain yours if properly documented
  1. Retirement Benefits:
  • Exact name of plan
  • Address of plan administrator
  • Employer
  • Employee
  • Starting date of contributions
  • Amount currently in account
  • Balance of any loan against plan
  • Documents (Date of start of plan is especially important for divorce settlement)
  1. Publicly traded stock, bonds, and other securities (include securities not in a brokerage, mutual fund, or retirement account):
  • Number of shares
  • Type of securities
  • Certificate numbers
  • In possession of
  • Name of exchange which listed
  • Pledged as collateral?
  • Date acquired
  • Tax basis
  • Current market value
  • If stock (date option granted, number of shares and value per share)
  • Stock options plans and related documents
  1. Insurance and Annuities Policies and Inventory:
  • Name of insurance company
  • Policy Number
  • Insured
  • Type of insurance (whole/term/universal)
  • Amount of monthly premiums
  • Date of Issue
  • Face amount
  • Cash surrender value
  • Current surrender value
  • Designated beneficiary
  • Other policies and amendments
  1. Closely held business interests:
  • Name of business
  • Address
  • Type of business
  • % Of ownership
  • Number of shares owned if applicable
  • Value of shares
  • Balance of accounts receivables
  • Cash flow reports
  • Balance of liabilities
  • List of company assets
  • Hobbies or side businesses that generate income
  1. Mineral Interests (include any property in which you own the mineral estate, separate and apart from the surface estate, such as oil and gas leases; also include royalty interests, work interests, and producing and non-producing oil and gas wells:
  • Name of mineral interest
  • Type of interest
  • County of location
  • Legal description
  • Name of producer/operator
  • Current market value
  • needs leases or production documents related to the asset
  1. Money owed by spouse (including any expected federal or state income tax refund but not including receivables connected with any business)
  2. Household furniture, furnishings, and Fixtures
  • photos
  • purchase documents
  1. Electronics and computers including software and hard drives
  2. Antiques, artwork, and collectibles (including works of art, paintings, tapestry, rugs, crystal, furniture, quilts) All major collections always need to be appraised! (Cars, Guns, Jewelry, Coins & Stamps, Action Figures, and Books) 
  3. Miscellaneous sporting goods and firearms
  4. Jewelry including appraisals
  5. Animals and livestock
  6. Farming equipment
  7. Club Memberships
  8. Safe deposit box items
  9. Burial plots including documents of ownership
  10. Items in any storage facility
  11. Travel Awards Benefits (including frequent flyer miles)

You may decide to divorce or not, but it is very important to have all financial information before you enter into a Divorce! This is a very general Financial Asset checklist. Disregard what is not pertinent to your situation.  

After reviewing this list, you may also decide to go and review the Family Information FormThis form is basic information about you and your spouse. By the time you are looking at this, you will realize that you may not really know your spouse’s information.  You will need to know the correct information before filing for divorce in Texas.   

These two informational lists will prepare you with the basic financial information that any divorce attorney will need to get your divorce started. 

You can click on these links to download and print our Texas Divorce Financial Checklist and Family Information Form for a Texas Divorce

Nacol Law Firm P.C.
Dallas Divorce Attorneys
Call (972) 690-3333

What is a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) and What Does it Do?

A temporary restraining order, commonly known as a “TRO” is used in family law to place injunctions without a full hearing on one or both parties. These injunctions prohibit specific actions that could endanger or prove damaging to the property in a divorce or the children of a divorce. You should have an idea on what the process entails.

A TRO is governed by Texas Rules of Civil Procedure Rule 680 and Texas Family Code § 6.501. If your spouse wishes to file a TRO that immediately excludes you from possession of or access to your children, a notice of this hearing must be given to you prior to the court date. The only exception to this is an Ex-Parte meeting with the judge, which means that only your spouse or her attorney will be present at the preliminary hearing. The judge may order a TRO Ex-Parte only if the TRO clearly demonstrates from specific facts shown by affidavit or by a verified complaint that immediate and irreparable injury, loss, or damage will result to the applicant or children before notice can be served and an actual hearing.

If you are on the receiving end of TRO and it prohibits you from access to your children, there are some things to keep in mind.

First: a TRO has a time limit, which is 14 days. After 14 days the TRO may be extended by a judge only once for an additional 14 days. Thus at most this TRO may only last 28 days’ absent agreement to an additional extension. A Judge does have the discretion to extend the TRO more than once if it is uncontested (you do nothing or do not appear).

Second: A TRO is NOT a Protective Order. This means that the police cannot kick you out of your house or forcibly arrest you for violating a TRO, absent any related criminal conduct. There are consequences for violating the TRO but not criminal consequence. You may be found in contempt of court by the Judge who ordered the TRO and forced to pay fines or be held to more severe sanctions. Violations will not be good for your case if you intentionally violate.

Third: A TRO must have a signed and notarized Affidavit or a verified pleading attached to the motion. If the opposing counsel did not follow these procedures the order may upon motion to dissolve be found void due to violation of the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure.

Fourth: You cannot practically appeal a TRO because it may only last for at most 28 days, if contested. Once you are served with the Ex-Parte TRO, you may request a motion to modify or dissolve the TRO after giving your spouse 48-hour notice and seek attorney fees if the filing was false or frivolous.

TRO’s are civil injunctions that are usually given without notice only if immediate and irreparable injury, loss, or damage will happen. The proof rules are more relaxed in Family Law Cases. Specific TRO procedures can differ in all counties and in different courts so make sure the check online the rules of each specific jurisdiction.

TRO’s only last 14 days and cannot be enforced by police officers, absent related criminal activity. Do not be distressed if you are served a TRO one day while you are battling your spouse for child custody or property. Take a deep breath call your attorney and set a hearing to modify, vacate or dissolve the TRO.

Many counties have standing orders that issue and are effective as to both parties upon the filing of a Family Law Proceeding. Read such mandatory orders before you file your case.