Your Divorce is Final. Now What?
A certified copy of your divorce decree (or any other document from the divorce case) can be obtained ONLY from the Clerk of Superior Court of the county in which your divorce occurred. Court case records, including divorce cases, are public records. Anyone can get them at any time.
When your divorce has been granted, we provide you with a copy of whatever documents that the Court provided to us.
The copy of the Decree that we provide to you when your divorce is completed is a valid copy of the Decree that the judge signed and filed with the Clerk of Superior Court (of the county in which your divorce was granted). You will NOT receive the original of the Decree because it is a permanent record of the court. In most counties, the court does not automatically provide a certified copy of the divorce decree. But, it we are provided with a certified copy of the divorce decree, we will pass that on to you.
Why Do I Need a Certified Copy of the Divorce Decree?
The divorce decree not only officially terminates your marriage but, if you have requested a name change in the divorce, it is the court order that actually legally changes your name. Whether you have had your name changed in the divorce or not, at some point in your life you will need to be able to prove that you were actually divorced. If you are an active duty military service member, you will need to have a certified copy of the divorce decree to change your marital status with your branch of service.
So, sooner or later, pretty much everyone will need to have a CERTIFIED copy of the Final Judgment and Decree for your case. Certified copies (or regular copies) of the divorce decree (or any other document from the divorce case) can be obtained ONLY from the Clerk of Superior Court of the county in which your divorce occurred. We cannot provide them to you nor can the judge’s office provide it.
What is the Cost of a Certified Copy?
If you have a single page divorce decree, the cost of each certified copy is typically $2.50. For each additional page, the cost will increase by 50 cents. However, if you go to the time and trouble of obtaining a certified copy, it makes sense to go ahead and get several so that you never have to contact the Clerk again. Some clerks add administrative charges to the cost of the actual copies. So, it is best to check with the clerk to make sure that you are sending the correct amount to avoid unnecessary delay.
How to Get the Certified Copy:
Contact the Clerk of Superior Court in the county where your divorce was granted. Since we cannot provide copies to you (certified or not) other than what we provide at the end of your case, please do not call us about this. But, just follow these instructions instead.
The process for obtaining a certified copy varies slightly from county to county. But, universally, you can always write the Clerk of Superior Court in the county where the divorce occurred to the attention of the Civil File Room and request the certified copies and enclose a money order payable to the Clerk of Superior Court. You should also provide the Clerk with a self-addressed envelope with the correct postage so that the clerk can quickly mail the documents to you. In some counties you can actually telephone the clerk’s office and pay for the copies with a credit card.
If you do not know your case number, the Clerk can look it up for you by name. But, you must know which county to call. It is the county where your divorce case was actually filed and granted.
You should also keep a copy of the full signed and filed Settlement Agreement. But, in most situations, the Settlement Agreement usually does not need to be certified. If you have minor children in the divorce case, you will need to get certified copies of the Parenting Plan Order and the Child Support Addendum (if these documents were separate from the Final Decree and Settlement Agreement). Like the Final Judgment and Decree, a copy of the Settlement Agreement can be obtained from the Clerk of Superior Court in the county where the divorce occurred.