Divorce Decree vs. Divorce Certificate — What’s the Difference?

/ / Law Blog
divorce decree vs. divorce certificate

Divorce is an unfortunate reality that involves a fair amount of paperwork. As such, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and confused by all of the documentation. 

Two of the most common documents that cause confusion are the divorce decree and divorce certificate — the court issues one but not the other. 

We’ll explore these two discombobulating divorce documents in greater detail in a moment. But first, please know that you have a valuable ally to assist you during difficult times like divorce.

Crary Buchanan, Attorneys at Law, specialize in legal matters of all types. We can help you with divorce, separation, custody, and more. Our extensive experience ensures that you’re getting top-tier legal representation.

With our services in your corner, you can trust that our legal team will guide and direct you through your divorce every step of the way. 

If you’d like to arrange a consultation with us, please call our law office toll-free at (888) 899-8161. If you live in Stuart or the surrounding areas, please feel free to contact us locally at (772) 287-2600.

If you prefer, you may also complete our online contact form, and a trusted member of our staff will get back to you. If you need an experienced divorce attorney in Stuart, we invite you to call today to schedule a consultation.

Let’s continue our discussion on divorce documentation, so you have a clear understanding of what they entail.

What Is a Divorce Decree?

This is a document that is issued by the court. It details the final judgment in your divorce and therefore contains essential information regarding:

1. Child support (if applicable)
2. Property and asset division
3. Spousal support
4. Visitation
5. Custody
6. Debt

Of course, other details may be included in your divorce decree, not just that which is listed above. In fact, it’s very likely that your divorce decree will contain more information, as the document is intended to detail every legal aspect of your divorce.

No one but the court can issue you a divorce decree, and it comes at the closing of your case. You can usually obtain a certified copy of your divorce decree by going through the clerk of court’s office.

Or, you may have to go through the county clerk depending on what state you live in and its regulations concerning this matter.

It’s important to note that only those involved in the divorce can obtain a copy of the divorce decree (including your divorce attorney).

What Is a Divorce Certificate?

Not to be confused with a divorce decree, a divorce certificate is a different document entirely. And unlike a decree, the certificate doesn’t come from the court but rather via a place like your state health department. In most cases, you get a divorce certificate from the same office that issues birth certificates. 

Moreover, divorce certificates aren’t available in all states. But in the states where they are available, you can use divorce certificates for the following:

1. Basic proof of divorce
2. Obtaining a passport
3. Obtaining travel visa
4. Inheritance matters
5. Name change
6. Marriage

Divorce certificates serve as evidence that you are indeed divorced. And, they enable you to show that you are divorced without sharing revealing information like that of a divorce decree.

So whereas a divorce decree outlines your divorce in its entirety, including things like child/spousal support orders or debt distribution, a divorce certificate shows only that you are divorced and nothing else.

Divorce is typically very difficult and requires an experienced divorce attorney who can guide you through this challenging time in your life. Things are even more troublesome when there are children involved. As such, you are encouraged to secure the services of a trusted and respected law firm to assist you. At Crary Buchanan, you’re getting experienced legal counsel from knowledgeable attorneys who understand the intricacies of divorce, custody, and more.

It’s certainly understandable if you are overwhelmed with your divorce or feel like you don’t have any options. But with the legal experts at Crary Buchanan at your side, you will have the professional guidance and direction to help you get the outcome you desire.

Contact Crary Buchanan Attorneys at Law Today

Crary Buchanan is a general practice law firm dedicated to providing expert legal services in the state of Florida. Our lawyers have significant legal expertise in virtually every major area of law, and most of our associates are Board Certified by the Florida Bar in their respective areas of proficiency. 

This extensive legal experience, coupled with our many years of service and dedication in the community, enables our lawyers to provide comprehensive representation to our clients. So if you need a knowledgeable divorce attorney during this difficult chapter of your life, contact the law office of Crary Buchanan today.

We proudly serve Stuart and the surrounding areas and are here to assist you in making your divorce go as smoothly as possible.

The information in this blog post is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to be legal advice. You should not make a decision whether or not to contact an attorney based upon the information in this blog post. No attorney-client relationship is formed nor should any such relationship be implied. If you require legal advice, please consult with an attorney licensed to practice in your jurisdiction.