What Happens After Your Divorce is Finalized?

man and woman on opposite sides of broken bridge

When your divorce order is officially signed by the judge, and your divorce becomes final, you will likely experience a sense of relief. Divorce takes time and effort, and making it to the other side is a real accomplishment. There are, however, several post-divorce considerations you will need to implement to protect yourself legally and financially as you move forward with your fresh start.

After the Judge Signs Your Divorce Order

Your divorce is not finalized until your divorce order, as signed by the judge, is entered into the court's records via the county's court clerk. Your attorney will receive a copy of your divorce order, and he or she will provide you with a copy of your own. There are two ways that your divorce can be finalized:

  • You and your divorcing spouse hammered out an agreement between yourselves that makes up your settlement agreement, which is attached to your divorce judgment. (Here are some negotiating tips for your divorce settlement)
  • You and your divorcing spouse were not able to come to terms, so the court did so for you, and the court's decisions are reflected in your divorce judgment.

If the division of your marital property involves property in a state other than Texas, you will need to register your divorce in that state to inform it that your divorce decree affects property owned there.

Once Your Divorce Is Finalized

You are divorced now, but that does not mean your divorce efforts are over. There are several important tasks you should attend to, including:

  • Keep a copy of your final divorce judgment in a secure spot. Your judgment is a court order, and having it at your disposal makes enforcing it or filing for a later modification that much more efficient. Further, you may need your judgment to legally change your name, to obtain a new mortgage, or to obtain Social Security benefits in the future.
  • Once you are divorced, there are several financial matters you will need to take care of. To begin, you should update all of your financial accounts, insurance records, and legal records. If you have changed your name and/or moved, you will need to update that information on all of these documents and records. Also, it is important to change the beneficiaries on your insurance policies and retirement accounts (as appropriate).

Making Changes Along the Way

The details spelled out in your divorce decree may have to be revisited from time to time. For instance, the visitation schedule may need to be revised as your children's schedules evolve. Further, child support may need to be reviewed periodically to ensure that it remains appropriate under the current circumstances. If you find that your divorce settlement is in need of modification, an experienced divorce attorney can help.

If You Have Post-Divorce Concerns, Contact an Experienced Killeen Divorce Attorney Today

Even if your divorce has been finalized, you may face further legal concerns. Attorney Brett Pritchard at The Law Office of Brett H. Pritchard in Killeen, Texas, has the experience, commitment, and skill to help. For more information, please do not hesitate to contact or call us at (254) 220-4225 today.


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