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Learning about finances in your family law case

Being in a relationship, sharing a child, or even being married to another person doesn’t mean you know every detail about their finances. But that changes during a court case. In Texas, when a person files a divorce or child custody case, neither party is allowed to keep their financial information private.

Starting in 2021, the parties in family law cases must disclose certain financial information no more than 30 days after the responding party has filed an answer in the case. These are called Initial Mandatory Disclosures.

Under Texas law, all of the property and earnings acquired by both spouses during the marriage are considered community property. Community property includes income from employment (including wages, tips, and overtime), real estate, vehicles, retirement accounts, and the balance of checking and savings accounts (both single and joint accounts)

Here is the information you’re entitled to from the other party in a Texas family law case. Remember that both sides are entitled to this information.

  • In divorce cases:

    • all deed and lien information on any real property owned, and all lease information on any leased property

    • all statements pertaining to any account at a financial institution (including banks, savings and loans institutions, credit unions, or brokerage firms)

    • all statements for any retirement plan,

    • all statements or policies for each current life, casualty, liability, and health insurance policy

  • In child custody cases and divorces involving children:

    • income tax returns for the previous two years (or the party's W-2, Form 1099, and Schedule K-1 for years in which a return was not filed)

    • Two most recent payroll stubs

    • all policies, statements, and the summary description of benefits for any medical and health insurance coverage that is or would be available for the child or the spouse

Attorneys use this information in a divorce to calculate the portion of community property to which each individual is entitled. If there are children involved in the case, the attorneys will use the information to determine the amount of child support the other parent will be ordered to pay.


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