What Is a Final Order of Divorce?
Divorce cases may be complicated and lengthy, but once the proceedings are over and the court enters a Final Order of Divorce, the parties can move on to the next stage of their lives. The Final Order of Divorce is a final legal document from your divorce proceedings that details all the final terms and conditions of your divorce. Simply put, a Final Order of Divorce is the final court ruling and judgment order that officially terminates your marriage. Once the court signs a Final Order of Divorce, it is sent to your divorce lawyer, who then sends you a copy. You are officially divorced on the day that the court signs the Final Order of Divorce.
Why Is the Final Order of Divorce Important?
Until the court signs the divorce document, your marriage is not legally over. The Final Order of Divorce might incorporate the terms of your settlement agreement if you reach one, or it might memorialize what has been ordered by a judge. In either case, it summarizes your rights and duties and outlines what is expected of you and your former spouse in your post-divorce lives.
As your divorce attorney may tell you, the Final Order of Divorce is a court order, and hence, it is legally binding. This means that both parties must adhere to the terms and conditions outlined in the Final Order of Divorce. If either party violates the Final Order of Divorce, post-divorce enforcement may be necessary.
The following key issues are addressed in a Final Order of Divorce:
- Asset division
- Child custody, child support and visitation rights
- Spousal support (alimony)
- Financial obligations such as debt and taxes
Is It Possible to Modify or Appeal a Final Order of Divorce?
Except for the issues related to custody, visitation, child support and spousal support (if it is made modifiable either by agreement of both parties or by order of a judge), the Final Order of Divorce is non-modifiable.
Your divorce lawyers can help you appeal a Final Order of Divorce if there was an error in law committed by the judge, and such an error was properly and timely noted.
Is My Final Order of Divorce Decree Also a Divorce Certificate?
A divorce certificate is issued by the Commonwealth of Virginia for record-keeping purposes. The divorce certificate contains the summarized particulars of your divorce case, such as the names of the two parties as well as the date and location of the divorce. This is unlike the Final Order of Divorce that contains extensive details and information pertinent to the divorce.
The Final Order of Divorce is an exhaustive and binding legal document that may have complexities or terminology that can be difficult to understand, but your divorce lawyer can ensure you fully comprehend the terms and conditions outlined in the Final Order of Divorce. Since such orders can be difficult to modify and even more difficult to appeal, the expertise and skill of the divorce lawyer you’ve hired to advocate on your behalf and advise you is very important.
For assistance initiating, navigating and finalizing your divorce proceedings, contact our team of experienced divorce attorneys at Hite Kaminsky Family Law today.