Friday, September 28, 2007

FAQ regarding Divorce # 9: When does my Divorce become final?

Although this might seem like a simple question, the answer is more complex. Ordinarily, the Divorce case becomes final when the “plenary power” of the Texas court has expired. This ordinarily occurs thirty days from the date that the Divorce Decree (sometimes called the “Judgment”) is signed by the Judge. If, however, some type of Motion is filed after the Decree is signed, such as a Motion for New Trial or similar pleading, then the time periods are extended to allow for the possibility of an appeal from the Decree.

Although there are other situations where the Decree can be changed, clarified, or appealed, these situations are not normal and can be very difficult to bring about a substantive (or meaningful) change in the Decree. Also, when a “material and substantial” change in circumstances occurs, a party may ask that the Court modify the Divorce Decree or a prior order in the case.