A Sample Divorce Decree Examined

When you get an uncontested divorce there are three types of  divorce decrees.  The first is the uncontested divorce decree for a divorce with no children and no property.  This is an easy pretty straightforward decree; it will simply state that there are no children of the marriage; that there is no marital property; and that the parties’ marriage is dissolved.  The other two decrees are a bit more detailed because they cover marriages that had marital property and/or children. 

Sample Divorce Decree Sections

In examining a sample divorce decree with marital property and/or children, the most important language is that that states that the settlement agreement is incorporated into divorce decree itself.  That gives the parties the power to return to court to enforce the settlement agreement if necessary.  The settlement agreement is the formal document that controls how the parties will operate with one another after the divorce is finalized.  Here are the most common line items from a sample divorce decree:

  • Property Settlement- this will include the language directs who in the marriage is getting what property and who will be responsible for what debts.  It is best to be as explicit as possible in this section so there is no confusion as to how the assets and liabilities are to be split.
  • Child Support, Child Custody and Visitation- This area should also very explicit in conveying the parties’ agreement; this area breeds a lot of contention
  • Insurance- This will deal with all insurance coverage’s including health, life, etc.
  • Name change- if the wife wants her name back this is the section that will grant it to her.
  • Release of rights- is where the parties agree to release each other from any rights outside of the ones that are spelled out in the divorce decree
  • Consent to terms- this section makes sure that the parties have not been forced to sign the settlement agreement and that they signed of their own free will.

Seeking Legal Help

Although uncontested divorces seem simple, it is a good idea to let them be handled by a trained professional.  Licensed attorneys know all of the procedural steps that will be required and make sure that you are guided properly throughout the process.  Attorneys can also ensure that the paperwork is drafted in such a way that you are ensure of the appropriate legal protections in the event that you have to return to court for one party’s failure to comply.

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