What Happens When Your Finalized Divorce Decree Isn’t Signed

Question

Is it possible for a divorce decree to be enforced through the Office of Recovery Services without the signature of a judge? It has been 3 years since my divorce. I am the respondent and I decided to read over the copy of the decree that I received after the divorce was final. I see no signatures from any judge or court official on my decree. State Official signature lines are all blank. It only has the lawyer, notary, and mine and my ex wife’s signature on it. Maybe I just received the copy before it went to the judge. I just don’t see how they could have implemented the decree without the proper signatures. Could this mean I am not technically divorced?? Shouldn’t they throw out this decree?

Answer

If they did not sign the order, your divorce hasn’t finalized, but the court can solve that problem to make your divorce effective 3 years ago. The court can sign your decree nunc pro tunc which means dating back to a prior date. If you find the decree unsigned, resubmit the decree for signature. When you submit your decree, ask the court to back date its order.

You should consult an attorney to determine how to do this. If the support is different in the decree or there is some other provision, like the date of divorce that you want to be effective on the earlier date, this may be an important request. While you are at it, you may want to run through the 12 points in my blog on what needs to be in a custody order to make sure your decree includes everything you need. Click on the link below “Custody Orders”.

Cameron JohnsonWhat Happens When Your Finalized Divorce Decree Isn’t Signed