Is a divorce final after a judge verbally grants the divorce or when they physically sign the divorce decree?

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Is a divorce final after a judge verbally grants the divorce or when they physically sign the divorce decree?

When is a divorce considered final? Is it when you are standing before the judge and he verbally grants you the divorce or is it when the judge physically signs the divorce decree? When does the 30 day waiting period begin before one can remarry? Does it begin the day the judge verbally grants the divorce decree or when the judge physically signs the divorce decree?

Asked on October 12, 2016 under Family Law, Texas

Answers:

B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Your question actually has a 'technical' answer and a 'practical' answer.
'Technically' when the judge officially says 'your divorced' or 'divorce is granted,' then the divorce is hypothetically final.  This means that you could potentially get remarried in 30 days.  The entry of a final order is considered ministerial and is just a matter of paperwork.
However, as a matter of practicality... you should wait until thirty days after the final written order is entered.  Until the final written order is signed by the judge, the terms of the decree can potentially be modified.  This means that if one party discovers new evidence fourteen days after the oral pronouncement, they could file a motion to set aside the verbal rendering, then the divorce could start over and then you would still be considered married. So, as a 'practical' matter, it's best to wait until thirty days after the written order is signed.  Thirty days after the written order, the trial court loses jurisdiction to make any changes and your set to move forward without any hiccups.


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