Even if you already have a full agreement with your spouse (amazing but not likely at this point), this step is mandatory. In this step, you and your spouse should truthfully represent your complete financial picture so that it can be fairly divided. This complete financial picture must include income, expenses, assets and debts.
Welcome to Step 2!
As the petitioner, you now need to complete your financial disclosures. It has to be done before your divorce is finalized.
Why do I have to disclose my financials?
How long do I have to complete the financial disclosures?
In Texas, if your divorce case was filed after January 1, 2021, you have 30 days to complete the required initial disclosures from the date after you or your spouse file an answer, waiver of service, or counter-petition with the court clerk.
Is Texas a community property state?
Yes. Texas is a community property state, which means that most property acquired during the marriage belongs to both spouses, and all property must be divided when you divorce. After divorce, each spouse gets to keep his or her separate property.
What's considered community property?
Most property (and debts) acquired during the marriage is classified as community property, and is usually divided equally (or by agreement) between spouses during the divorce process. This might be the family house, vehicles, vacation properties, bank accounts, and personal family possessions like art, musical instruments, or collectables. Separate property is generally all property you acquired before or after marriage, or during the marriage from an outside source (like an inheritance).
But Texas law also includes the products of separate property such as cash dividends from stock held as separate property and all “profits, fruits, and revenues of separate property.”
What's considered separate property?
Typically in Texas, separate property includes property that was owned or claimed before the marriage and certain types of property acquired during the marriage such as gifts and inheritance, monetary payments for personal injuries (except recovery for that person’s loss of earning capacity), or property gifted from either spouse to the other.
What happens if I don't disclose some of my assets now?
If you don’t disclose everything on your forms, you run the risk of either missing something that later has to be addressed post-divorce (and you don’t want to have to do this again, right?). Or, you might be accused of “breach of spousal fiduciary duty” (failing to be fully transparent with finances) later in the process.
What happens if my financial situation changes after my divorce is finalized?
You have an ongoing duty of disclosure about activities that materially change your assets, liability, or income. If something changes significantly (for example, your car was in an accident or your investment portfolio drops or skyrockets in value), you must notify your spouse in writing.
What will I need to disclose?
Financial disclosures are forms that require you to share all information related to your property, debt, income, and expenses. Some states require you to attach proof (like tax returns and bank statements). Include everything that you know about and control (plus anything you know about your spouse’s estate, too).
What tax documents will I need to attach to my financial disclosures?
You’ll need tax documents from the last two years. These would be any W-2, 1099, or K-1 forms you have stating your income.
What do I need if my divorce includes spousal or child support?
If child support, spousal support, or both are part of this case, you need to attach two years of tax returns. You’ll also need to attach two cycles of payroll stubs.
What information will I need to provide about insurance policies?
You will need to list company names, account numbers, type of insurance, and attach insurance declaration pages and premium invoices (if you have them).
What if I don’t have all the information needed?
You can always save your information and come back once you have the information needed to continue the questionnaire. However, you won’t be able to continue the questionnaire without providing the information needed to move forward. But you will have an opportunity to review your answers at the end before your forms are generated.
This all seems complicated. Do I really need to list all my expenses and assets?
Yes! It is important that you accurately complete your financial disclosures to reflect your current financial position. This includes your income, your expenses, your debts and your assets – even if you and your spouse have already divided everything.
I’m not sure what to put down on my financial statement. Can Hello Divorce tell me how to complete Step 2?
Yes! If you need help completing your financial disclosures, one of our legal coaches can assist you with any questions you may have. You can get a legal coaching session in increments of as little as 30 minutes here.