Questions To Consider When Facing Divorce

Considering whether to end your marriage is one of the most important and difficult decisions you will ever have to make.

It is also important to approach the divorce from a rational perspective rather than solely an emotional one. In many ways, it is a business decision that requires you to evaluate many issues. Also evaluate your record keeping habits. Will you be able to prove what you believe to be true? Once you review this list of questions, you may rethink the direction you are headed, or you will be better prepared to move forward.

Children

  • Who will the children live with?
  • If they live with your spouse, how often will you be able to visit them?
  • How will you and your ex-spouse make decisions about the children, such as their health and education?
  • Who pays for the children's living expenses? Their education? Travel?
  • How is the amount of child support to be paid by one party to the other parent determined?
  • What if your ex-spouse remarries and the stepparent wants to adopt your children?

Maintenance

  • What about spousal maintenance? Will you receive it or need to pay it? How much and for how long? Why will it be required?
  • Will either of the other parties' support or the support of their children increase or decrease in the future due to the changed financial circumstances of either of the parties, economic conditions or other factors?
  • Who will be entitled to claim the children as exemptions for income tax purposes?

The Marital Home And Other Real Estate

  • Who will live in the marital home during the divorce process?
  • How is the home currently owned? How did you acquire it?
  • What are your assets? How did you acquire them? When?
  • Will one of the spouses keep the marital home or will it be sold? How will the proceeds be divided?
  • If someone keeps the home, will one of the parties deed their interest in it to the other?
  • If you decide to sell the home, will both spouses be involved in the sale and closing? Who decides the selling price or if a broker will be used?
  • Who will be responsible for major repairs and the costs of preparing the home for sale?
  • Who will be entitled to deduct the mortgage interest charges and real estate taxes for income tax purposes?
  • Who will be responsible for any income (capital gains) taxes which may be imposed as a result of the sale of the home?

Insurance

  • Should you keep life insurance for the benefit of your children?
  • Who will be the beneficiary of such insurance?
  • Will either party be obligated to provide medical or other insurance for the benefit of the other and if so, for how long?
  • Will either party be obligated to provide medical or other insurance for the benefit of the children and if so, for how long?
  • Who will be responsible to pay for any medical, dental, drug or hospital expenses of the children that are not reimbursed by any policies of insurance that either of the parties may have?

Income Taxes

  • Who will be entitled to receive any refund that may be due on any past joint income tax returns filed by the parties?
  • If there is a deficiency on any past joint income tax returns, who will be responsible for it?
  • If you file joint income tax returns for the present year who will be responsible to pay any taxes due and who will be entitled to receive any amount refunded?

Additional Guidance From A Recognized Lawyer

This list is not exhaustive, but it does give you an idea about the issues that you should consider before making any decision pertaining to your divorce.

Consulting with a knowledgeable professional is also advised. Martha Bourne is a Houston family law attorney, Board Certified and recognized, who can help resolve any unanswered questions — particularly if your divorce involves complex property matters.

Call 713-581-8260 or email for a consult with Martha.