Final Divorce Decree Law & Legal Definition


A final divorce decree refers to the court’s final order granting a termination of marriage. The Divorce decree summarizes the rights and responsibilities of the divorced parties. It also provides the basic information regarding the divorce, case number, the names of the parties, date of divorce, and the terms the parties have agreed upon or the court's decision. The divorce decree outlines the financial responsibilities of each party. Usually it dictates the division of property of the parties to the divorce. The divorce decree will name the responsible parties to the debts the couple has incurred during the marriage.

Final divorce decree also covers issues regarding the alimony, custody of children, visitation and child support.

Once a divorce decree is filed and issued, the parties to the divorce are free to remarry. However some states have laws that require a waiting period after the divorce decree before the parties are free to remarry. Since a divorce decree is legally binding if either party to the divorce fails to meet their obligations as set forth in the divorce decree, the other party has the right to take legal action to rectify the situation.

A final divorce decree can be appealed within the time specified by law. In most states appeals are allowed only if the judge made an error of law or abused his or her discretion. Laws differ from state to state.