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Final Decree of Divorce

So, what do you need to know about what goes into your final decree of divorce after your final trial?

After your final trial, the judge is either going to make some rulings from the bench and you're going to be right and furiously fast, or your lawyer is or the judge will issue a letter ruling, spelling out one ruling two ruling three and that is all going to have to be reduced to a judgment.

The judgment is prepared by the lawyer, usually for the lawyer who prevailed, and for the party who won.

For example, a case I had recently, the party who was determined through trial to be the primary parent, with the right to designate the primary resident, also was their job to do the drafting because they prevailed, so in that final judgment, needs to be the

  • child custody plan

  • visitation schedule

  • child support

  • any confirmation of a rear edge

  • spousal maintenance if any

  • any property division

  • confirmation of separate property division of community property

  • any family violence findings

It's got to be very specific, it's usually 20 to 40 pages long, and then there's a back and forth where parties can review the draft object to the draft. If objections can't be resolved, a hearing can resolve it with the court for clarifying the order or accepting it as written. There may be some other closing documents, child support withholding order, deeds to divide real property, qualified domestic relations orders to divide up retirement accounts, power of attorney to transfer motor vehicles, and stock transfer documents.

This is a perfect time to update your will and your life insurance documents because in most situations and any bank accounts that you held jointly or payable on death because at at this time you need to remove your now ex-spouse as primary beneficiary on all those deals.

Finally, exchange of any remaining personal items, any remaining financial accounts.

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