Why You Need to Keep a Copy of Your Divorce Decree

A divorce lawyer near Nassau County NY in a suit presenting a divorce certificate on a white desk.

A divorce decree, also known as a final judgment, is signed by a judge at the conclusion of your divorce. Since this is the official document that grants your divorce as legal, it is important that you have a copy of it in safekeeping. But also, it will be essential proof in any post-judgment issues that arise. Continue reading to learn what situations this document will be handy for and how an experienced Nassau County divorce lawyer at Barrows Levy PLLC can further help you in these regards.

In which cases do I need a copy of my divorce decree?

If you wish to reassume your maiden name at the finalization of your divorce, a copy of your divorce decree will allow you to do so. When requesting the documents from a judge, they will likely ask you for your intentions with changing your last name, ensuring that you are not avoiding creditors or criminal charges. Once you are granted the document, you may go to the Social Security office to begin the name-changing process. You will have to do the same at the Department of Motor Vehicles. Your divorce decree will also be needed to obtain an updated passport and credit cards.

Additionally, if you are left with the marital residence following your divorce, you will likely have to refinance the home to remove your former spouse’s name and obligation from the mortgage. To do so, mortgage lenders will ask for a copy of your divorce decree, and also possibly your Marital Settlement Agreement to prove if any specific terms must be met prior to approving your loan.

And lastly, if you decide to remarry, a copy of your divorce decree will be needed when you apply for your new marriage license. In the state of New York, bigamy, or being legally married to more than one person at the same time, is illegal. So, this document serves as proof that you are truly divorced and not just separated from your former spouse.

How do I obtain a copy of my divorce decree?

A divorce decree is filed with the county clerk likely in the county where you reside. When contacting the county clerk, your application must be submitted with a driver’s license, state-issued non-driver photo-ID card, passport, or U.S. military-issued photo-ID. Or, a utility/telephone bill and a letter from a government agency dated within the last six months will suffice.

If you require the services of a skilled Nassau County divorce lawyer to help you obtain a copy of your divorce decree, do not hesitate in reaching out to our firm today.


Barrows Levy PLLC is a highly experienced New York law firm focused on providing quality legal services to clients in New York City and Long Island. If you need a Nassau County lawyer who has significant experience handling family and estate planning matters, we are ready to help. Contact Barrows Levy PLLC to schedule a consultation with one of our experienced attorneys today. 

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