Divorce Decree

Divorce decree – There are exuberant amounts of steps that take place during the process of a divorce in North Carolina. So much so, that we cannot explain all those steps in one blog. By clicking here, you can read an overview of the divorce process. The purpose of this blog will be to properly examine the finalization of a divorce through a divorce decree. We will explain, in detail, exactly what a divorce decree is and basic information regarding one.

Like all of our blogs, this is intended for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for the advice and counsel of a divorce attorney or a family law attorney.

What is it?

A divorce decree is typically the last step in the court proceeding for a divorce. It will lay out exactly what the court has decided. Sometimes, people will often confuse divorce certificate with divorce decree. These are both two separate documents that have distinguishingly different purposes.

A divorce certificate is produced by the state in which you live for record-keeping purposes. This is not a court document. A divorce decree is a final enforceable order by the court in which both parties involved must follow. It typically resolves the issues that were part of a divorce.

Details of a Divorce Decree

A divorce decree dissolves the marriage. Sometimes the parties incorporate a separation agreement into a final divorce decree. If they have, that agreement becomes an court order that is enforceable by the contempt powers of the court.

Enforcing a Divorce Decree

A divorce decree dissolves a divorce and proves that there is no longer a valid divorce. If a separation agreement has been incorporated and one of the parties does not follow the specification – being as it is a court order, a party can file a Motion for Contempt and/or a Motion for Order to Show Cause. The party will then tell the court what part of the order is being violated and ask the court to hold the opposing party in contempt of court. If the judge finds that the other party violated the order, the judge will decide the appropriate penalty.


Penalties for contempt of court can include a verbal warning, a fine, jail time, or requiring the party in contempt to pay the other party’s attorney’s fees.

Family law matters are complicated and require professional help, even at times when people don’t think they need it.  If you are in need of a family law attorney in Charlotte, NC or the surrounding areas, contact us.

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