Divorce Decree in Florida
Divorces are complicated. They involve myriad decisions, legal procedures, and paperwork that can become overwhelming. One crucial document in this process is the divorce decree, a legally binding document that summarizes important agreements between you and your former spouse.
What’s included in a Florida divorce decree?
A divorce decree, also known as a final judgment of dissolution of marriage in Florida, is a legal document that signifies the end of a marriage. It is issued by the court that handles the divorce case, and it spells out the final ruling and agreement between ex-spouses.
The terms of the divorce decree may include details about the couple’s debt and property division. It may detail child custody arrangements and visitation rights. It may also give details regarding child support and spousal support.
How and where to get a divorce decree in Florida
If you’ve already received a judgment of divorce, you can request a copy of your decree from the Clerk of Circuit Court in the county where your divorce was granted. You'll generally need to do so in person.
Who has access to your divorce decree?
In Florida, the records from divorce proceedings are public. Unless the court has ordered them sealed, anyone can access them. But only the divorced parties or their legal representatives can get a certified copy of the divorce decree, which carries legal authority.
To get a copy, visit the Clerk of Circuit Court's office in the county where the divorce was granted. If you can’t visit in person, you may be able to order your copy online or mail in an order. You will likely need to provide identifying information such as the full names of both parties, the date the divorce was granted, and possibly the case number.
You may need a certified copy of your divorce decree for certain legal and official matters. A certified copy carries legal authority, so if you’re doing something like changing your name, remarrying, dealing with banks, or transferring property, a certified copy may be in order.
The cost to obtain a copy of a divorce decree varies from county to county in Florida. Generally, you can expect to pay a small fee, often ranging from $5 to $20, for a regular copy. If you need a certified copy, the cost might be slightly higher. Check with the county clerk's office beforehand to understand the exact cost and payment methods accepted.
Divorce decree vs. divorce certificate
A divorce decree is not a divorce certificate. These are two different things. While the decree is a detailed document outlining the terms of the divorce, the certificate is a simple record stating that the divorce occurred.
A divorce certificate includes only basic details, such as the names of the divorced parties, the date, and the place where the divorce was granted. It can serve as proof of divorce for some legal purposes.
Is a divorce decree enforceable in Florida?
A divorce decree is a court order, so it has substantial legal weight. If either person fails to comply with it, the aggrieved party can take legal action. This could involve returning to court to file a motion for enforcement or contempt.
If you’re working to create the terms of your divorce in a divorce settlement agreement, here are a few Hello Divorce resources we think may help: