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Visit us at www.DivorceAndYourMoney.com Divorce and Your Money is your guide to avoiding costly mistakes during divorce. Shawn Leamon, Certified Divorce Financial Analyst and MBA, wants to help you learn the fundamentals of how to get a divorce. Whether you are looking for an uncontested divorce, a do it yourself divorce, or an online divorce, resources are available to offer guidance. Through his divorce podcast and divorce blog, Shawn offers his professional opinion on the best ways to handle the end of your marriage. He covers topics including how to file for divorce, divorcing a narcissist, and finding the best divorce attorney. Even tricky subjects such as a “what is a QDRO?” and “is alimony taxable?” are tackled through these venues. If you need to know what the first steps are or what you should do to head to trial during litigation, you can find resources to give you a step-by-step guide to what comes next. Think of his advice as an alternative to divorce support groups where you can find exactly what you need when you need it. He offers one-on-one divorce coaching to give you a solid grasp on the decisions that are bound to affect your financial future. Before you have a divorce decree in hand, you will likely go through some type of divorce mediation. For any spouse saying, “I want a divorce,” you need to make sure that you are getting the financial future you are entitled to. Do not allow yourself to be blinded by the emotional, legal, and financial burden that divorce can become. Instead, take control of your situation with sage wisdom to help all individuals make better financial decisions for their independent future. If you find yourself asking “where are the best divorce lawyers near me?”, Shawn can help you to recognize the best of the best. Whether you need a divorce in Texas, a divorce in Florida, or a divorce in New York, you will have all the knowledge you need to find the best team of professionals to assist you. You can start from a place of being legally separated or once you have already started to file for divorce using free divorce papers or an attorney. No matter where you or your marriage may be in the process, Shawn Leamon has professional advice to offer your unique situation. A simple no fault divorce or a high-stakes power struggle are all areas he has vast experience with during his work outside of Divorce and Your Money. Let his advice be a guide to help you get all that you need for a secure financial future in your divorce records. It will not make a difference whether you are getting a divorce in Ohio or a divorce in California if you are following the basic principles set out through Divorce and Your Money’s divorce blog, divorce podcast, and divorce coaching.
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Jun 29, 2017

This was originally published on Divorce And Your Money here.

When it comes to filing your paperwork at the end of your divorce, it is incredibly important to understand each individual document. Official documents pertaining to your divorce should be easily understood, recognized, and identified, in case you need to access them in the future. In particular, a divorce decree (which marks the official end of the marriage) is one of the most significant documents that you will obtain. All parties should understand what it does, what items it includes, and even how it can be modified.

If you have a few lingering questions regarding what a divorce decree actually is, you are definitely not alone. These frequently asked questions should help clarify your thoughts:

What is a Divorce Decree?

A divorce decree is an official court document containing the final settlement and agreement for your divorce. In order to officially end the marriage, this paper must be signed by a judge, then filed with the court clerk. Your divorce decree cannot be enforced or finalized until this paper is filed with the courts.

The decree by itself typically includes all of the necessary areas of your marital life, which now need to be separated. It is the official answer to questions that pertain to your finances, benefits, property, and childcare or custody arrangements.

What is Included in the Divorce Decree?

If a divorce decree marks the official end of your marriage and establishes your newly single life, what can you expect to find covered in it? Most couples will include everything that they need to jointly address and separate into an equitable settlement. However, first and foremost, it should be noted that the issuance of a divorce decree also typically marks the end of employer benefits from a spouse, including health insurance and other types of coverage.

Most married couples are anxious to receive a divorce decree, which settles the financial aspect of their split. This decree untangles debts and marks the specific obligations of each spouse toward a shared or accumulated debt. According to the judge’s decision, it also divides your property, real estate, and assets (including retirement accounts, savings accounts, and other finances) between the two of you. It is responsible for establishing all of the financial implications of your divorce.

The decree is designed to give clear expectations about the rights and responsibilities for both spouses. Beyond the financial responsibilities already covered, it also includes details for child support and alimony, if applicable. Custody arrangements for any children involved are also typically included in the divorce decree.

Can You Change a Divorce Decree?

A divorce decree can potentially be modified in the future through an appeals process, but only under very specific circumstances. For example, this decree may be changed by a judge if it is found to contain errors in the law. It cannot be altered to revise facts contained within the document that pertain to errors in hearsay. However, if something was divided between the two spouses that was not in accordance with state laws, the divorce decree could potentially be modified.

It may also be altered to reflect changes in income or other financial situations that could affect the payment of child support or alimony. A spouse who is responsible for making monthly child-support payments and takes a lower-paying job may be able to appeal the decision about the specific monthly obligation that is owed. Likewise, a higher-paying job may indicate that a greater percentage of the pay should be allocated toward child support or alimony.

Custody arrangements may also be changed based on the evolving needs of the children. Older children may have a preference about which parent has full custody of them, so a divorce decree could also be modified to reflect:

  • Changes in parenting or life status
  • Any potential moves that either spouse makes
  • Other situations that pertain to the wellbeing of the children, which may call into question previous custody agreements

Covering the Basics

Understanding just what to expect from your official divorce decree is an important aspect of taking charge of your newly single life. You should know exactly what implications the document has, in terms of your financial arrangements and relational arrangements (if children are involved). The divorce decree officially marks the end of your marriage, but it also places you on the path to independence.

Shawn Leamon, MBA, CDFA is the host of the “Divorce and Your Money Show” and Managing Partner of LaGrande Global, with offices in Dallas, New York and Hanover, New Hampshire.

 

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