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WHO PAYS FOR A DIVORCE IN TEXAS?

Paying for a Divorce in Texas

You’ve been served with a Petition for Divorce. It’s not an easy time. What makes it worse is not knowing how you can pay for an attorney to protect you during the divorce.

Can you use joint bank accounts or joint credit cards, to pay legal fees?

Although every case is different and should be reviewed on its own merita, the short answer in most circumstances is “yes”. Texas is a community property state, which means everything you acquire during your marriage, with some exceptions, belongs to both spouses equally – you both own 100% of all of the assets.
A joint credit card can be used by either spouse. A joint bank account will generally be thought to have community money in it, which can be used by either spouse. That’s the money which should be used, most of the time, to pay for attorneys and living expenses.

Are there exceptions to the community property rule when it comes to paying for divorce fees?

There are always exceptions. For instance, pre-marital agreements can change the overall rules. They can change community property into the separate property of one or the other spouse and can do the same with community debt. Other things can mean something which originally looks like community property is actually separate property, like a gift or an inheritance.

Do I need to get a lawyer if I don’t know how to divide the cost?

The safest thing to do is to talk to an attorney who specializes in family law and explain to them your unique situation. Chances are, the joint bank accounts and credit cards are there for your use, but it is always best to check.

SEE ALSO
Answers to Common Income Tax Questions & Regarding Divorce & Child Custody
The Paper Trail Always Leads to the Money: Tracing Assets in Divorce
How is Custody of Pets Determined in a Texas Divorce?