By: Danielle Murphy, Paralegal
If you are currently going through a divorce, then most likely your attorney has asked you to fill out something called an Inventory and Appraisement (I&A for short). So, what is an I&A? Basically, it is a complete and comprehensive list of everything you own—all separate and community property as well as any separate and community debts. This can include jewelry, furniture, bank accounts, every credit card, land, houses, electronics, pets, etc. Not only will you be tasked with listing all of this, but you will also have to provide current values. As a result, this document can be one of the most time-consuming parts of getting a divorce.
Right about now you’re probably wondering “Why do I even have to make this list? Doesn’t my spouse already know what we own?” But the answer is yes—you do have to fill it out and here’s why: First and foremost, when court ordered, it is required under Texas Rule of Civil Procedure § 6.502(a)(1). Secondly, the more detailed you are, the better your attorney and the judge can help you evenly split up your property, whilst still making sure you get the things you want.
Even though this task can feel daunting, being as detailed and thorough as possible will yield a better result, especially if there is an item in your inventory that you know will be disputed by the other party (for example, a wedding ring that has been passed down through your family, the family dog, a loan that you gave to your in-laws that was never paid back, etc.).
Bottom Line: Don’t let the size of this document scare you. Your attorney will work with you every step of the way and completing this task will only help you in the long run.