Legal paperwork is notoriously complicated. Before you can divorce, you have fill out and file all kinds of forms and jump through various hoops. There’s a lot of detail. So much that it’s all too easy for things to slip through the cracks. But what can you do if there’s a mistake on your divorce decree?
Because divorce decrees, like most court orders, are so difficult to change once in place, it’s important to do them right the first time. You may not want to spend the money, but it’s often well worth the cost to talk to an attorney. At the very least, you may want to have a divorce lawyer look over your paperwork before you make it official. This can save huge headaches, and expensive bills, in the future.
One of our founding partners, Rick Jones, regularly appears on the Danny Bonaduce and Sarah Morning Show, where he answers listeners’ family law questions. A recent caller finds himself in precisely this pickle and wants to know how he can fix a mistake on his divorce decree.
Listen to the Conversation Below:
Caller: “My divorce was finalized in 2010 and in the division of assets it was actually pretty amicable. We did it with a mediator. I gave up the house and the equity. A
“However, there was not language in the decree for her to refinance at all or within a time period. I believe that was a huge mistake on my part.
“I’m wondering if there’s any recourse. That has an adverse
Rick: “Yeeeaaaahhhh, unfortunately, that is problematic, and it comes up a lot. One of the questions would really be–and this is where we need to dive into the specifics of your decree–whether or not there’s any language in there, even though it’s not enforceable, where it intimates that the expectation is that the home would be sold or refinanced. Because if not, the court’s likely to hold you to the bargain that you had.
“That’s the downside. When people hear about mediation, most cases that are resolved ultimately through mediation. But that’s usually with attorney involvement to protect people from this happening.
“I don’t know that I’ve got great news for you, but you’ve got no reason not to try. So get a hold of somebody, they’ll want to take a look at your final orders and see if that gives them an opportunity.”
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