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Marital Property—Protecting Your Finances During Divorce

Money earned while married does not belong to the spouse earning it.  Under Texas law, the spouses’ combined income is marital property.  Texas addresses marital property and separate property under Chapter 7 of the Texas Family Code.  Texas is a community property state, which means marital property division is 50/50.  People worry about losing money during divorce, which can sometimes lead them to make rash decisions and take unwise actions.

The Montgomery County Courts of Law and Montgomery County District Courts issued a standing order in March 2009 that prohibits certain actions regarding funds while getting a divorce.  Unless court authorized, the standing order, which automatically goes into effect when a spouse files for divorce, restrains spouses from:

  • Making withdrawals from bank accounts
  • Spending cash in possession
  • Withdrawing or borrowing against retirement accounts or pensions
  • Entering a safe deposit box in either or both spouses names
  • Signing checks in the other spouse’s name
  • Taking actions to terminate or limit credit or change cards in the other spouse’s name
  • Discontinuing or reducing money withheld from federal income taxes on wages or salary

Unless court authorized, spouses also cannot incur debt during divorce.

However, as part of divorce planning, a spouse should begin gathering evidence to substantiate separate property.  For proof of separate property, save documents such as  deeds, titles, inheritance records, letters that accompanied received gifts, canceled checks, credit card receipts, and other documentation that proves ownership.

By working with a Texas divorce lawyer, a spouse can plan financially and take the proper legal steps during divorce.

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Robert Reid McInvale
Attorney at Law

Robert Reid McInvale is an experienced family law attorney with a comprehensive practice in Houston. He provides dedicated and strong advocacy for his clients, helping them with all the issues surrounding their divorce, separation, child custody, and other marriage and family matters. Attorney McInvale—Reid to clients and friends—seemed destined for a law career. Born while his father was attending Emory University Law School, Reid grew up in Manchester, GA. His father was the city attorney for many years, as well as head of the Manchester Chamber of Commerce. It is in the family blood to become lawyers and help people get justice. U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Marshall is part of the McInvale family tree.

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