POST DIVORCE INFORMATION THAT IS USEFUL
Post Divorce Information is part of the Bob Leonard Law Group’s “post divorce” form. We walk ALL the way through a divorce with each client. Our job as your divorce attorney includes doing our best to get you ready for the new chapter in your life on solid legal ground.
Once the judge drops the gavel telling you, “You are divorced,” you may have two different reactions now that your divorce is final: 1) you may leave the family courthouse believing the divorce is finally over and you can simply close that book; or 2) what do I do after my divorce? Before you close the book and start the next chapter, here are a few things to get you started on life after divorce.
Post Divorce: Useful Information
Your order is not final for 30 days. During that time, either party can file a motion for a new trial or ask the court to modify, correct, or reform the order. That time is also allowed for a party to appeal a case. You should consult with our office before doing anything that would be a problem if your case is appealed or if a new trial is granted.
- The Texas Family Code specifically provides that you may not marry anyone other than your former-spouse for thirty days after your divorce is granted.
Ask your divorce attorney questions
- It is also important to understand the specific provisions of your order. For example, certain payments MUST be made in precise ways. Failure of either party to do so could be heavily penalized. If you do not understand these provisions ask us; we can usually clarify the things that concern you.
Post divorce tax returns are important
- It would be wise to have your first post-divorce tax return prepared by a qualified C.P.A. or enrolled agent. There are often certain tax issues involved in a divorce and professional help is advised. The tax preparer can also help you with ongoing issues and record-keeping needs.
Understand your liability
- As we have discussed before, in a divorce, the judge (or the parties, by agreement) will divide the obligations of a marriage. One spouse will be ordered to pay certain mortgages or debts and the other will be ordered to pay others. This will affect only the parties, not any third party creditor. The creditors are not part of your divorce action and the judge has no authority over them. The effect of this is that your ex-spouse may be ordered to pay debts, such as the loan for a residence or car that your ex-spouse receives but if he or she fails to do so, the lender can still sue you for the debt. You will have a claim against your ex, but that is usually worthless at that time. That being said, most decrees divide debt and both parties understand their liability.
Complete the post divorce details
- It is also crucial to ensure that all title and debt documents required by the divorce are properly executed and filed. It is far easier to handle these things at the time of the divorce rather than later. In some cases, waiting might mean that you would not get all that you are entitled to.
Do you need to change the beneficiary designation in your will?
It important for you to realize that some estate planning documents (such as a Will or Power of Attorney) are automatically changed or revoked on divorce, but that is not true of all of them. Even more important, some beneficiary designations remain after divorce. Even though the Texas judge may award you your retirement, for example, unless you change the beneficiary designation, you now-former spouse will still receive the proceeds in many cases. You MUST change your Will and your beneficiary designation on ALL life insurance policies, retirement accounts, or other accounts as soon as the divorce is granted.
About the Author:
Bob Leonard of the Bob Leonard Law Group, PLLC, is Board Certified in Family Law and provides Divorce Attorney services in the family courts of Tarrant County and Parker County, Texas. BLLG also handles divorce appeals in the Tarrant and Parker Appellate Courts. Our law office is conveniently located near downtown Fort Worth and we offer the convenience of a satellite office in Azle, Texas for our Parker County clients.