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Your Divorce Decree: What You Need to Know

Your divorce has been dragging on for quite some time, but there’s finally some light at the end of the tunnel. The divorce decree is just about ready. 

A divorce decree is the final document in your divorce. It serves as the formal order from the court, covering topics such as property division, alimony, child support, and child custody. You will need to sign this, so it’s important that you understand it. 

Once you and your spouse sign the decree, you will be officially divorced and you can move on with your life. This can be an exciting situation. However, the decree will include various elements of your divorce, so it’s best that you understand it.

What is Included in a Divorce Decree?

A divorce decree will typically include three main elements:

  • Property division. If you and your spouse are unable to agree on how to split assets, the judge will assign a value to your assets and then split them based on state laws. Ohio is an equitable distribution state, so assets are split fairly (not necessarily 50/50). 
  • Debt division. Ideally, you and your spouse will pay off all debts before divorce. However, if the balance is too high, then this may not be possible. This means the court will decide how to divide the debt. The judge will do so by determining which spouse incurred it and who benefited the most.
  • Alimony. Not all divorce cases involve spousal support, but if yours does, it will be included in the divorce decree. It will show the amount of money that one spouse is ordered to pay the other.

What to Do Before You Sign a Divorce Decree?

You may be in a hurry to sign the divorce decree, but you need to thoroughly review it first. Be sure to look for the following:

  • Accuracy issues, such as mistakes 
  • Grammatical issues (make sure your name is spelled correctly)
  • Proper verbiage about retirement plans (Retirement plans require very specific verbiage)
  • Vague or confusing language
  • Incorrect monetary amounts
  • Missing agreements

Make sure to review your final decree thoroughly because once you sign it, it’s hard to make modifications. It may be a good idea to review it with a lawyer, especially if there is confusing language. 

Once you sign the divorce decree, it will be archived in the vital records office of your courthouse, in the county where you got your divorce. Keep the divorce decree for your records. The court clerk or your lawyer will likely mail you a copy.

Contact Lawrence Law Office Today

When Ohio couples divorce, they’ll eventually get a divorce decree, which means their divorce is finalized. This will be a relief for most couples who are ready to move on. 

Have questions or concerns about your divorce decree? Get answers and advice from the Ohio divorce lawyers at Lawrence Law Office. Schedule a consultation today by calling 614-228-3664 or filling out the online form.

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