Is a Divorce Decree a Court Order?

By Marie Murdock

Close-up of weights balancing scales of justice with gavel beside it

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After receiving your divorce decree from the court, you may wonder if you have to comply with all the terms and conditions of the decree. A divorce decree is signed by a judge and is, therefore, an official court order. While all orders are signed by a judge, not all orders may be referred to as decrees.

Court Orders

While a divorce action is pending, the court may issue several orders such as retraining orders, temporary custody orders and orders to produce documents. These orders are referred to as interlocutory or interim orders that do not fully and finally resolve all issues in the case to finalize the divorce.

Divorce Decree

An order that resolves the issues related to the initial filing in a divorce case and ends the marriage of the parties is often referred to as a “divorce decree.” Divorce decrees are generally final unless an appeal or request for a modification is later filed.