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Barbara L. Jouette, Attorney, P.C.
888-268-7997 / 214-385-4562

Finalizing a divorce in Texas

When a divorce in Texas is finalized, a judge will enter a divorce decree. The items in the decree may have been determined by the judge overseeing the case or the couple may have come to their own divorce agreement. If the couple comes to an agreement on their own, the judge will ask them some basic questions before entering the decree into the court's records.

The decree needs to ensure that all matters pertaining to the divorce such as division of community property, spousal support and child custody have been properly resolved. Additionally, division of community debt as well as the amount and frequency of any child support granted will need to be included in the decree. As part of the final decree, parties may go back to using a name that was used prior to the marriage.

However, the court may not approve a new name for anyone involved in the divorce. Prior to submitting the final decree for approval, it must be filled out completely. If it is not, it cannot be signed by the judge. Furthermore, a pro se litigant may be required to submit a draft of the final decree prior to appearing in court. A court administrator may be able to advise anyone going through a divorce if this is necessary in his or her particular case.

A family law attorney may be able to help those who are looking to finalize their divorce get approval to do so from a judge. This may be true whether the couple agrees to a divorce settlement on their own or asks a judge to rule on the matter. Finally, legal counsel may be able to provide advice regarding property division to help create an agreement that complies with state law.

Source: State Bar of Texas, "Pro Se Divorce Handbook ", November 10, 2014

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