The formal document declaring the termination of a marriage is known as a final decree of divorce. If a divorce case goes to court and the judge issues a ruling, the ruling is deemed official when the judge signs the decree. The court clerk should sign the decree as well. If you’re getting a divorce in Washington, here are some things to look for in your divorce decree.
Making the divorce final
As you go through the process of ending your marriage, you may be wondering when everything will be finalized. If you’re getting ready to address your divorce decree, this means that the process is almost complete. Your divorce will not be legally enacted until you’ve signed the decree. The judge’s seal of approval should also appear on your official decree.
What’s in your divorce decree?
Divorce decrees cover various topics including debt division, property division, alimony, custody, and child support.
The amount of alimony you pay or receive is based on the role you played in your marriage and your income while married. If you and your spouse can not agree on who should receive which assets, your decree will explain the division of your property in detail. Your debt will also be divided according to who the judge has deemed more financially responsible for the debt.
Before you sign your final decree of divorce, review the phrasing and terms for your qualified domestic relations order so you’ll know how much you can expect to receive from your former spouse’s pension or retirement plan. The decree should also explain child custody arrangements in clear terms so you can avoid having to go through the decree modification process.