What Is a Final Judgment of Divorce?

By Wayne Thomas

The process of dissolving a marriage can involve multiple hearings and court orders. This can make it difficult to know exactly when you and your spouse are officially divorced. In most states, spouses are still considered married until a judge signs a final judgment of divorce and the court clerk enters it into the court record.


A judgment for divorce is considered final only if, in addition to severing the legal relationship between a couple, it disposes of all outstanding issues, including those related to property division, support and child custody. The judgment also sets forth the rights and responsibilities of each spouse after divorce, and contains a statement of the facts found by the court at trial or contained in the couple's written agreement. The finality of the judgment also gives either spouse the right to appeal the court's decision.

Separating Issues

Certain aspects of your divorce may be resolved by separate judgments. This might be the case where you or your spouse are eager to remarry but have complex financial or property matters that will take several months to resolve. Here, a judge may choose to first issue an order declaring you legally divorced, and then issue a separate order for property at a later date. In this scenario, while your divorce is not officially over, you would no longer be considered legally married.

Divorce is never easy, but we can help. Learn More
Divorce is never easy, but we can help. Learn More
Does Filing for Divorce Include Separation in Wisconsin?


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Michigan Law on Divorce Settlements

Michigan is one of the few states where judges can consider marital misconduct when dividing property in a divorce. Spouses can avoid a judge taking fault into consideration at trial by negotiating their own divorce settlement, called a property settlement agreement in Michigan. However, Michigan law regarding these settlements is somewhat complicated.

Define a No Fault Divorce

All states now recognize no-fault divorce, but there are different kinds of no-fault grounds. Divorcing this way in Maryland isn't quite as easy as it is in California. The commonality among all jurisdictions is that no-fault means you don't have to point an accusatory finger at your spouse or prove that he did anything wrong in order to be granted a divorce.

How Long Until a Divorce Is Final in Florida?

Although many couples want to finalize their divorces as fast as possible, couples in Florida cannot avoid the mandatory waiting periods and other requirements for divorce. The length of time is dependent on whether you can agree to the terms of the divorce with your spouse and whether or not you qualify for a simplified divorce. No matter the route you choose, you may only file for divorce in Florida if you or your spouse has lived in the state for at least six months prior to filing.

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