Recent statistics state that about 11% of marriages end in divorce in Texas. A divorce is a complicated and confusing situation to go through. Understandably, as you begin to finalize your divorce, you want to sign any paperwork to get it over as quickly as possible. Because this document must be followed by law, it is essential to understand what your divorce decree entails and everything typically included in a divorce decree in Texas. Our Texas divorce attorneys will help you know what to expect in your divorce decree.
What is a divorce decree?
The most straightforward way to explain a Texas divorce decree is that it’s a legally binding document that contains the court’s final decision on all issues regarding your divorce. These are the divorce papers that you receive once the divorce is final.
The divorce decree will outline issues such as:
- Division of your possessions – Whether you have been together for months or years, you have assets you want to keep. All items must be divided, from the house to the furniture to the cars. Certain assets are often easily overlooked, so be sure to understand how all your assets will be divided.
- Child custody – This lays out the custody agreement of who will have primary custody of the children and visitation rights and includes a holiday schedule.
- Child support – If the children primarily live with one parent, the other parent must pay child support. The divorce decree will say exactly how much money will be delivered and on what dates.
- Spousal support – There are times when the ex-spouse who makes more money may need to pay spousal support to their ex. The divorce decree will determine the amount of money paid and for how long.
- Payment of debts – You may have credit card debts, loans, and other expenses. The divorce decree will determine how these debts will be divided and paid.
- Payment of court costs – The judge may order one spouse to pay the court costs of the divorce. They may also declare that one spouse must pay the attorney fees of the other spouse.
Once you and your ex have agreed on all issues, the judge will review and sign the divorce decree. When signed, the judge files it with the court clerk, and the document becomes a public record. This means that anyone searching for your divorce decree to see the terms of your divorce can find it. However, there are specific ways to keep your divorce private in Texas.
What if my ex-spouse is not following the divorce decree?
It can be frustrating when your ex decides not to follow the terms of your divorce. You can have your attorney file a Motion to Enforce Divorce Decree. Filing a motion will make the judge aware that your ex had broken the rules. The judge may hold your ex in contempt of court, make them pay a fine, or send them to jail.
You both need to follow the divorce decree. However, if something happens that you cannot follow the rules stated in the order, there are ways you can change it.
Making changes to a divorce decree in Texas
Change is a part of life. As the months or years go by, there will be changes in your life that may not allow you to follow the rules of the divorce decree. If your divorce decree no longer works with recent changes in your life, it’s best to work with your Texas divorce attorney to file a Motion to Modify the Divorce Decree.
An example of typical changes that could occur would be that one of your children would like to live with you instead of your ex. Or maybe you lost your job and temporarily cannot make child support payments. Whatever the reason, it is best to file a motion to change the decree rather than ignore it.
Can you remarry after receiving your finalized paperwork?
We often get asked if and when a client can remarry after the divorce is finalized. Yes, you can remarry after your divorce in Texas is final. However, you must wait at least 30 days from the finalization – this means you can get married 31 days after your divorce is finalized.
Working with a Divorce Attorney in Texas
The terms of a divorce decree can be complicated, and it’s best to understand everything included in your divorce decree in Texas. It’s important to ask questions as your Texas divorce attorney will help guide you through the process and ensure you understand all items listed in the divorce decree. We are here to answer any questions or concerns you may have; our Texas family law attorneys will be with you every step of the way.
C.E. Borman & Associates is an American Lawyer Top 100 Law Firm.
C.E. Borman & Associates have served the Brazos Valley for over 20 years. Our attorneys and legal staff are committed to straight talk and honest advice.
We provide exceptional value to our clients and often make life-long, remarkable changes that benefit future generations. Contact us if you need a divorce or family law attorney. Call (979) 846-4090.