Don’t Make This Divorce Decree Mistake

At the end of your Woodlands Divorce case you will be faced with signing or asking the judge to sign a Divorce decree. Your Divorce decree is a very important document. It may contain provisions controlling when you or your ex has access to your children, who is awarded specific assets, and who is responsible for specific debts among many other important provisions.

Even with so much at stake there is no shortage of people who underestimate the significance of the exact language in their uncontested divorce decree and make the decision to try a “do it yourself” divorce based on “one size fits all” forms and cut and paste language pulled from who knows where. Let me tell you, that can be a big mistake and we need look no further than the story of Mr. Otto to see why.

Mr. Otto and Mrs. Otto divorced. They owned a piece of real estate. Their divorce decree stated that the parties agreed to sell the home and Mr. Otto agreed to pay Mrs. Otto specific amounts depending upon the final sale price. They both agreed not to sell the property for less than $2400 per acre unless they mutually agreed in writing. They attempted to sell the property for more than $2400 per acre and were unsuccessful. As time passed Mr. and Mrs. Otto were unable to agree on a price below $2400 per acre. Stuck with a stalemate, Mrs. Otto filed a lawsuit to partition the property.

Mr. Otto opposed the attempt to partition the real estate based on the statute that a court is forbidden from amending, modifying, altering, or changing the division of property made in the divorce decree.

If Mr. Otto’s divorce decree included provisions awarding or dividing the real estate he may have prevailed. But, in a critical oversight, his divorce decree did not divide the property as it existed at the time of their divorce. His divorce decree only contained provisions related to the sale of the property so the court was free to partition the property and decide all the questions that Mr. Otto did not include in the decree. Some of those critical questions are: who had the right to possess the property, who was responsible for repairs or mortgage payments pending sale, and what relief each of them were entitled to if the property did not sell.

Don’t let this happen to you with your uncontested divorce. Make sure all property and debts are divided in your divorce decree and that any other provisions appropriate to your unique situation are properly spelled out. If you are not sure how to do this and need a Woodlands Divorce Lawyer then give me a call at (832) 592-7913 or fill out the contact form on the right of the screen.

If you would like additional information about getting divorced in The Woodlands, download my free guide to Divorce in The Woodlands