Guiding families through all aspects of divorce in North Carolina

Attorneys at Raleigh Divorce Law Firm

When is the divorce final?

On Behalf of | Jul 8, 2024 | Divorce |

From living separately for at least one year to negotiating the division of your marital property, you have nearly completed the entire process of ending your marriage. However, when is your divorce officially considered final?

The judge must sign off on your divorce

To finalize a divorce in North Carolina, a judge must sign the divorce decree. This is a requirement whether you resolved matters:

  • In court, if the divorce involved serious conflict
  • Or outside of court, in mediation

Of course, the entire divorce process leading up to this point is not often as simple. Therefore, it is also critical to note that there may be more steps to take even after the judge signs your divorce decree.

“Finalized” may not mean the end just yet

The divorce might be final, but as we have discussed in previous blog posts, there might be some administrative matters you must attend to. This could involve steps such as:

  • Actually dividing assets according to the agreement
  • Growing accustomed to parenting time and custody arrangements
  • Changing your legal name

The signed divorce decree can also approve a legal name change. However, you will likely still have to complete specific procedures to change your name on official documents, such as your driver’s license.

Of course, you do have the option to modify elements of your divorce decree, such as support payments or even child custody arrangements. If you experience significant life changes, it might be necessary to adjust the terms of your agreements to meet your family’s needs.

Divorce may be a legal process, but it is one that greatly impacts nearly every aspect of your life. You must get used to a new reality, even after the divorce is officially finalized.