Of the hundreds or even thousands of signatures you provide throughout your life, very few will carry as much weight as the one at the bottom of your divorce decree. By signing this binding legal document, you are committing to the agreements and decisions in it and essentially giving your approval for the divorce to finalize. This can be a very emotional moment – one of both happiness that the process is finally complete, but also sadness that your marriage is now over.
Either way, it’s important to realize just how final the divorce papers are and how much your consent and signature impacts the finality of your divorce. It is crucial that you spend time going through the final divorce decree with a fine-toothed comb looking at each and every provision and decision.
Because divorce can be an unpleasant and drawn out process, some people are eager to hurry and get it over with and willingly sign divorce papers without taking a close look. This is a mistake.
Divorce papers are often drafted by the attorney that is representing one of the parties in the divorce. In their attempt to get the best possible results for their client, an attorney may add or remove certain agreements in the final divorce proposal that might go overlooked. Once signed, these changes in the divorce decree become binding. The only way to have them changed or altered is to go through the courts, which can lead to months of court dates and meetings with attorneys.
Whether you hire an attorney to represent you through your divorce or not, it’s always a good idea to have an attorney read through your divorce papers before you sign. An attorney knows what to look for, is familiar with the language of the documents and can quickly point out areas of concern.
Naegle & Crider strongly suggests that you take the time to have a divorce attorney read through your divorce decree before you sign it. Contact our offices to set up an appointment with attorney Brad Crider who has successfully handled dozens of divorces in the Phoenix metro area.