Things I Wish I Put in My Divorce Decree – A Guide to Avoid Regrets

Protecting Your Financial Future

1. Securing Long-term Stability

When drafting your divorce decree, don’t overlook the importance of securing your financial stability for the long term. Consider including provisions that address spousal support, division of retirement assets, and allocation of debts. By addressing these factors, you can protect your finances and avoid potential regrets.

One way to secure your financial future is by including a provision for spousal support or alimony. This can provide you with the necessary financial support if you have been economically dependent on your ex-spouse during the marriage. Ensure that the terms of the support are clearly defined, taking into account factors like duration and potential modifications.

2. Division of Retirement Assets

Divorce often involves the division of retirement assets, such as pensions or 401(k)s. It’s essential to clearly outline how these assets will be divided in your divorce decree. Make sure to consider factors like the duration of the marriage, individual financial contributions, and any applicable state laws regarding property division. By including these provisions, you can safeguard your future financial well-being.

Consulting a financial advisor or attorney familiar with divorce and asset division can provide valuable insights into the complexities of dividing retirement assets. They can help you understand the potential tax implications and ensure your decree addresses all necessary details.

3. Allocation of Debts

Debt allocation is an often overlooked aspect of divorce decrees, but it can have a significant impact on your future financial situation. Clearly stipulate the responsibilities for any shared debts, such as mortgages, loans, or credit card balances. By doing so, you can mitigate the risk of being held accountable for debts incurred by your ex-spouse post-divorce.

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Include provisions that outline how debts will be divided, specifying who is responsible for specific debts and how any joint accounts will be managed. This can prevent surprises down the road and help protect your credit score as you navigate life post-divorce.

Protecting Your Children’s Well-being

1. Custody Arrangements

When it comes to divorce, protecting the well-being of your children is paramount. Addressing custody arrangements in your divorce decree is crucial for both their emotional and practical needs. Create a detailed parenting plan that includes visitation schedules, holiday arrangements, and decision-making authority.

Consider factors such as the children’s age, their relationship with each parent, and their school and extracurricular commitments. By incorporating these considerations into your divorce decree, you can help provide stability and minimize potential conflicts in the future.

2. Financial Support for Children

Financial support for your children is another critical aspect to consider when drafting your divorce decree. Child support provisions should be clearly outlined, taking into account factors like each parent’s income, the cost of living, and any special needs of the children.

Ensure that the decree specifies how child support will be calculated, collected, and potentially modified in the future. By including these details, you can help secure the financial well-being of your children as they navigate life after the divorce.

3. Co-parenting Communication and Conflict Resolution

Effective co-parenting requires clear communication and a willingness to resolve conflicts peacefully. Consider including provisions in your divorce decree that encourage open communication channels between you and your ex-spouse. This may involve agreeing on preferred methods of communication and establishing boundaries regarding topics unrelated to the children.

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Additionally, outline a process for resolving conflicts amicably. This could involve mediation or seeking professional assistance when disagreements arise. By proactively addressing co-parenting dynamics in your decree, you can help promote a healthier and more stable environment for your children.

FAQ – Answers to Common Questions about Things I Wish I Put in My Divorce Decree

1. Can I modify my divorce decree if I forgot to include important provisions?

Yes, you can typically modify your divorce decree if important provisions were omitted. However, the process may involve filing a petition with the court and demonstrating valid reasons for the modification. Consulting with an attorney can provide guidance based on your specific circumstances.

2. What if my ex-spouse refuses to comply with the provisions in the divorce decree?

If your ex-spouse refuses to comply with the decree, you may need to take legal action. Consult with an attorney to explore options such as filing a contempt motion or seeking enforcement through the court system. It’s important to document any instances of non-compliance to strengthen your case.

3. Can I change custody arrangements in the future if circumstances change?

Under certain circumstances, custody arrangements can be modified in the future. For instance, if there is a significant change in a child’s needs or if one parent wants to relocate, a modification may be warranted. Consult with an attorney to understand the requirements and process for modifying custody arrangements in your jurisdiction.

4. What if I realize I forgot to include a crucial asset in the division of property?

If you realize you forgot to include a crucial asset, you may need to consult with an attorney to assess your options. Depending on the circumstances, you may be able to reopen negotiations with your ex-spouse or seek a post-divorce property division agreement. Legal advice tailored to your specific situation is essential in these cases.

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5. Can I modify the amount of spousal support mentioned in the divorce decree?

Depending on the terms outlined in your divorce decree, you may be able to modify the amount of spousal support. Significant changes in circumstances, such as a job loss or an increase in income, can be grounds for modification. Consulting with an attorney can provide guidance on the modification process applicable to your situation.

6. Is it necessary to consult an attorney when drafting a divorce decree?

While it is not legally required, consulting with an attorney when drafting a divorce decree is highly advisable. An experienced attorney can provide valuable guidance, help you understand your rights and obligations, and ensure the decree addresses all necessary considerations. Their expertise can help protect your best interests during this challenging process.


As you navigate the complexities of divorce, it’s vital to consider the things you wish you had included in your divorce decree. By addressing financial and child-related aspects with clarity and foresight, you can protect your well-being and minimize potential regrets. Remember, each divorce is unique, so seek personalized legal advice to guide you through the process effectively. For more insights and assistance on divorce-related topics, be sure to explore our other informative articles.