What is a Divorce Decree & Why is It Required?

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A divorce decree confirms the termination of a marriage. People get confused between a divorce decree and a divorce certificate. Both documents are different but declare that a marriage is terminated. 

This blog will help you understand what a divorce decree is and why it is required.  

What is a Divorce Decree?

A divorce decree is a document the applicant receives after the final judgement from a court. This document provides information about your case, such as the reason for divorce, who will get the child custody, visitation, property division, etc.

The applicants receive a divorce decree at the end of their case. 

Above all, this document declares that a marriage has ended, and both parties need to obey the court’s judgement. 

Divorce Decree Content 

The information included in a divorce decree depends on the case and the matter between the parties.  

There are different kinds of divorce cases filed. Some applicants settle outside the court without going for any trial, and others settle when the court includes their marital settlement agreement in the divorce decree. 

There is no standard form for a divorce decree. But, this document includes the following details.  

  • Applicant’s information, such as names, addresses, and birthdate
  • The information about the child born during the marriage or registered partnership. 
  • Address and contact details of the court.
  • Attorneys’ information involved in the case.
  • Case number
  • Official end date of the marriage
  • Name of the judge 
  • A statement to change the last name of one spouse
  • A declaration that the divorce is final.

It also includes the following details. 

  • Property allocation
  • Debt division
  • Child custody 
  • Parenting duty 
  • Child support
  • Alimony 
  • Retirement account division 
  • Each applicant’s signature
  • Attorneys signatures 
  • Judge signature
  • The date everyone signed

Many courts ask for a clerk stamp with an official court seal.

Who Issues a Divorce Decree?

The judge signs the decree and makes it the last judgement that your divorce is final. A divorce decree confirms that the spouses are legally divorced. In a nutshell, a divorce decree ends the misery caused by long-drawn court trials.

How Can You Keep Information About Your Divorce Private?

A divorce decree is a public document that anyone can see once the divorce is final from the side of the court. The spouses can create a marital settlement agreement to maintain the privacy of the information included in a divorce decree.

To keep your information private, the judge will sign the divorce settlement agreement and will not include it in the public divorce record. A divorce decree will be attached to the settlement agreement. Both spouses must follow the terms in the settlement agreement.  

Contrary to that, spouses can request the judge to “seal” the divorce decree and remove sensitive information from the public divorce decree. 

How to Get a Copy of a Divorce Decree Online?

Different state courts follow a separate process to issue a divorce decree. Most courts request the applicant to visit in person to get a copy of a divorce decree. Some courts accept request forms via email. 

The applicant can also download a copy of the request form for a copy of a divorce decree from the court website. The court might provide you with a copy of a divorce decree via email or mail. 

Can a Divorce Decree Be Changed or Challenged?

Modification or changes in the provisions of a divorce decree is possible under certain circumstances like alimony, child support, child custody, and visitation rights.

On the same side, you can challenge the entire decree document in some cases. But, a judge cannot alter requirements related to marital property distribution. 

Matters Involve Divorce Decree

Here are the three common matters.

  • It is related to a divorce decree used in other states and countries. A divorce decree issued by one state is considered legal in every other state in India. Attestation of a divorce decree is compulsory to use in a foreign country. 
  • One party can challenge the validity of the divorce decree from a different state. 
  • If one party changes its name, a divorce decree does not automatically update legal name changes. It is mandatory for the person who has changed his name to contact the records department at the court to change one applicant’s name in their records.

Read More: How to Apply Marriage Certificate Online

Do You Need a Lawyer Help for a Divorce Decree?

You should hire a lawyer if you have any issues or find an error in a divorce decree. An attorney will give you the best advice and support to terminate the painful and emotional trials and present your side on the divorce laws in your state court. 

Difference Between a Divorce Decree and Divorce Certificate

  • A divorce decree is a court order that confirms your marriage has ended. A divorce certificate is not a court document. 
  • A divorce decree includes the personal details and settlements done between the spouses. On the other hand, a divorce certificate issued by your state for record-keeping purposes contains the parties’ names and says when and where the divorce case has been filed.
  • A decree is vital to challenge the court orders or complain that your ex-spouse is not obeying the court orders.
  • A divorce decree is necessary in the case of non-compliance. A divorce certificate only proves that you are divorced.
  • A divorce decree is necessary if you want to change the name on your driver’s licence after the divorce. A divorce certificate does not work in the case of a name change. 


A divorce decree is a document issued by the court to declare the termination of a marriage between two parties. This document is used for various purposes, like remarrying, child support, child custody, etc. Attestation is mandatory to use a divorce decree in a foreign country. 
We have the official approval from the Ministry of External Affairs, MEA, to provide the best and most swift document attestation services.