What is a "Decree of Divorce?"
The term “decree of divorce” or “divorce decree” refers to the completed order from the court. This is the document that officially ends the marriage.
Divorce Judgment vs. Divorce Decree
A divorce judgment is what the judge verbally orders in the courtroom, while the decree is the legal document confirming the divorce judgment.
Divorce Decree vs. Divorce Certificate
A divorce certificate is typically a simple document listing the names of both spouses and the date and location where the divorce was granted. A divorce decree is actually signed by the judge and lists the main outcomes of the divorce.
Anyone can obtain a certified copy of their divorce record. To do this, you will have to request it from the Superior Court in the county where you filed for divorce. The California Department of Public Health can issue you a certificate of divorce, but not a copy of your actual divorce decree.
You will need a copy of your divorce decree if, in the future, you wish to make any modifications to the terms of your divorce, or enforce any of the terms of your divorce. You may also need to provide a copy of your divorce decree for tax purposes or if you wish to take out a loan.