Can the judge change the terms of an agreed upon final divorce decree and if he does can I stop the proceedings and get an attorney?

UPDATED: Apr 12, 2012

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Can the judge change the terms of an agreed upon final divorce decree and if he does can I stop the proceedings and get an attorney?

My wife and I have filed our divorce petition; we have one child. If we agree on all aspects of the divorce and both sign the final divorce decree can the judge change anything when we go to court? If he does try and change anything (ie. visitation, division of assets, etc.) do I have the option of halting the divorce and asking him if I can get legal representation,or is it too late once we are in court?

Asked on April 12, 2012 under Family Law, Texas


Madan Ahluwalia / Ahluwalia Law P. C.

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

In order to get final decree of divorce, you will need to submit a marital settlement agreement separately or at least include certain terms in the judgment related forms. If your agreement does not cover each and every item required under the law, then the judge can ask you to include those. You will have to then know what is missing and find a way to include those terms.

Before you get to final agreement and judgment, you also have to exchange disclosures with each other. Disclosure documents include income and expense as well as assets and liabilities related forms and corresponding documents (paystubs, statements, etc). Such disclosure is done twice- originally, soon after divorce is filed and 2nd time, right before the final judgment (at sometime in between). 2nd exchange can be waived though by agreement of the parties.

However, judge can not otherwise change the terms. Your agreement is your agreement. If parties agree, it is fine with the court.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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