No divorce is finalized until there is a Final Decree of Divorce. Better understanding what this entails can help you better understand the divorce process and may help the process go more smoothly. Let’s take a closer look.
The Terms of Your Divorce
Your Final Decree of Divorce will carefully address each term of your divorce in considerable detail, and these terms include (as applicable):
Your child custody arrangements (called conservatorship in Texas)
The division of your marital property
Alimony (called spousal maintenance in Texas)
The goal is for you and your divorcing spouse to find a middle ground that you are both willing to accept on each of these terms that applies to your divorce.
What Is the Final Decree of Divorce?
Your Final Decree of Divorce is a document that ends your marriage, and that effectively divides one household into two, and it will contain every divorce term and all the related specifics that you and your divorcing spouse have hammered out between you. Ultimately, your Final Decree of Divorce will include all of the following that apply to your divorce:
How you will be dividing your marital property
That property that will remain you or your soon-to-be ex’s separate property
Where your kids are going to live (and according to what possession and access schedule)
Who will be paying child support
Who will be covering the children’s health insurance
Your Final Decree of Divorce spells out the terms and details of your divorce, and the document will be created by either your divorce attorney or your spouse’s, will be signed by both of you, and will be filed with the court – to be approved and finalized – marking the moment when you are officially divorced.
There Are Only Two Paths Forward toward Your Final Decree of Divorce
You have options when it comes to creating your Final Decree of Divorce. If you, your spouse, and your respective divorce attorneys are unable to negotiate all the necessary terms between yourselves, you can proceed to meditation in an attempt to resolve those remaining terms. At mediation, a professional mediator – who is neutral on the matter – will help you explore your best options and may help you bridge the divide between your stances on the terms at hand. If, however, you have at least one term that remains undecided after going through the mediation process, you’ll need the court’s intervention on the matter. This is the second path forward toward your Final Decree of Divorce, and once every term is decided, either your attorney or your divorcing spouse’s attorney will draw up the Decree.