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Many documents will be involved in the finalization of your divorce. All divorces end with a "Decree of Divorce." The decree divides your property and debts; sets out rules governing child custody, child support, and visitation with your children; and often settles issues regarding who will pay taxes and how you'll file.
A deed might also be included in your divorce's closing documents. As you would expect, the deed settles ownership of property.
Your closing documents might also include a Deed of Trust. Let's suppose that you and your spouse bought a house together, and both of your names are listed on the bank note. If the house is awarded to your spouse but he or she fails to make the monthly payments, the bank can come after you for the overdue house payments (even though you don't own the house). The Deed of Trust gives you the right to make up the back payments and retrieve the property from your former spouse.
You should insist that your San Antonio attorney prepare a Deed of Trust to protect you in this regard. Although it may not seem necessary at the time, you will be grateful to have this type of insurance in place should you ever find yourself involved in a situation similar to the one described above.
Another closing document is known as a "Qualified Domestic Relations Order," which you will most likely require if retirement accounts are involved in your divorce. This order provides for the tax-free transfer of retirement accounts between spouses. (In other words, you can obtain a part of your spouse's 401k or other retirement without paying a tax penalty.) Insist that your San Antonio divorce lawyer look into this prior to the signing of your Decree.
And one last important matter that you may have overlooked: changing your will. Your San Antonio attorney should offer to update your will and other estate documents once your divorce is completed.
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Higdon, Hardy & Zuflacht, L.L.P.
12000 Huebner Road Ste. 200 San Antonio, Texas 78230
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