The formal written document that states a couple is officially and legally divorced is called the “divorce judgment” or “judgment of divorce.” A judgment of divorce is prepared by your Michigan divorce lawyer and contains information that is unique to your case. This important document is presented to the court after negotiation, mediation, or, in some cases, trial. Once settlement is reached, the judgment will be entered by the court as the final decree granting your divorce.
Contents of a Michigan Divorce Judgment
A Michigan divorce judgment contains clauses that deal with all matters of your split, detailing every legal facet of the dissolution of your marriage. All important matters are dictated in the judgment about both parties’ rights and obligations, including:
- Child custody: Clarifies whether parents have joint or sole custody, legal or physical custody, and specifies living arrangements and obligations in caring for the child.
- Child support: Details who pays, how they pay, who receives, how much, and how often.
- Parenting time: Spells out a specific visitation schedule for regular days, holidays, special occasions, birthdays, school breaks, summer, and vacations.
- Spousal support: Details who pays, how they pay, who receives, how much, and how often.
- Division of property: Identifies how the marital property is divided, from the family home to other real estate, vehicles to household goods.
- Debts: Details who owes what to whom and when, including loans, credit cards, mortgages, and bills.
- Other financial matters: Insurance, retirement, and all other financial considerations are spelled out, resolved, divvied up, or dissolved.
The parameters of the divorce judgment must be followed to the letter and all terms are final and enforceable.
When Your Divorce Is Final
The Michigan divorce judgment contains the court order for the dissolution of marriage. This sets out the terms of your Michigan divorce. The marriage is officially terminated on the date that your judge signs the judgment, however, the divorce is only finalized when the court clerk enters the judgment into the court record.
Living Life by Your Michigan Divorce Judgment
The final judgment of divorce is an important document. This issue is the product of months and sometimes years of fact-gathering and negotiation, arguing and backtracking. The divorce process can be long and harrowing depending on the circumstances that prompted the divorce, the agreeableness or animosity between a couple, and the effectiveness of your lawyer or mediator.
The divorce judgment will have an immediate and ongoing effect on your life, controlling how you plan and live your life now and for many years to come, especially if you have children.
It is incredibly essential to work closely with your Michigan divorce attorney and go through your divorce judgment critically so you understand all the language and details. Ask for explanations when you don’t understand something – above all, know exactly what you are agreeing to in your divorce.
Modifying the Divorce Judgment
Property matters in a divorce judgment are typically not modifiable and are usually upheld unless fraud, clerical errors, or unfairness can be adequately proven. It is possible, however, to modify child custody, parenting time, and child support if there has been a demonstrable change in circumstances that make a modification necessary. Spousal support can be modified unless marked as non-modifiable in the initial divorce judgment.
Hire an Experienced Michigan Divorce Lawyer
Are you prepared to file for divorce? Do you want to change your divorce judgment? If you have questions about dissolving your marriage or making adjustments to an existing divorce decree, schedule a consultation with the divorce lawyers at Michigan Divorce Help, PLLC, serving Macomb and the surrounding areas in Michigan.