You’ve finally gotten the “Decree of Divorce” signed by the Judge! What now? If children are involved, you could be facing many years of dealing with your ex-spouse on a regular basis.
Many people want to know if they have to follow their agreed upon parenting schedule. The answer is “no” so long as both parents are in agreement. This greatly depends on the relationship with the other parent. If you agree to alter the parenting arrangement and follow something that is not in writing, you do so at your own risk. It is a good idea to keep a journal with everything that happens with the kids and the other parent. I know this is a tall order when living your day to day life but such a journal will come in handy if you are forced into post-decree litigation. It is generally advised to document your conversations with the other parent in writing, preferably by email and not text message. Another good way to communicate with the other parent is by Our Family Wizard. OFW is a great online communication resource for divorced parents. You can find out more information about this program at http://www.ourfamilywizard.com/ofw/.
What do I mean by post-decree litigation? If you or your ex-spouse disagree about something relating to the children after the divorce is final and you cannot resolve your differences out of court, you will find yourself back in court on a post decree matter. This could involve a change in child support, custody or parenting schedule. Often times, if you have agreed to shared parenting, you will be required to attend mediation on parenting and custody issues before the court will make any decision. You do not have to attend mediation on child support issues. You may also find yourself in post-decree litigation if one party is not holding up his/her end of the bargain for your property division or spousal support agreement. The court maintains jurisdiction to enforce your agreement. The court does not retain jurisdiction to modify these provision unless the agreement specifically says so.
Other considerations are to update your will and estate plan. Also be sure to change your beneficiaries on your life insurance and other important documents.
For more information, contact the Law Offices of Olivia K. Smith, LLC at www.oksmithlaw.com.