When Will I Need to Use My Divorce Decree?

Keep in mind that you will want to hold on to your divorce decree because you will likely need to use it down the line. This is an official document that grants your divorce. It is very important that you save this document and keep it secure for when you need it for any post-judgment matter. Reach out to our firm today to speak with a skilled Shelby County, Tennessee divorce lawyer and read on to learn more about the importance of keeping your divorce decree handy. Below are just some of the many scenarios:

1. Renew your maiden name
Once you have been divorced, if you would like to reestablish your maiden name, the divorce decree will be the document that permits you to do so. The judge will ask you about your purpose for resuming your maiden name. Essentially, once a judge sees that it is an appropriate request, he or she will sign the divorce judgment that includes the full name you wish to resume, the last four digits of your social security number, and your birth date. Once you have the document, you can go to the Social Security office to start the process of changing your name back. You will have to use this document not only at Social Security, but also at the DMV, and to obtain an updated passport. You may also need it to modify your name on your credit cards, even though many times the credit card companies will obtain a photocopy of the divorce decree.

2. Refinance a home
If you are upholding the marital residence following a divorce, you will likely have to refinance the home in order to clear your former spouse’s name and obligation from the mortgage. In order to do so, most mortgage lenders will request to see the divorce decree as proof that you are actually divorced and not trying to pull the wool over an unsuspecting spouse’s eyes. Your lender may also want to see your Marital Settlement Agreement to determine if any specific terms must be met before supporting your loan.

3. Re-marry
In the event that you decide to re-marry, you will need your divorce decree when you apply for your marriage license. The state will want to notice that you are actually divorced and not just separated from a former spouse before they decide to issue you a new marriage license. As bigamy (being legally married to more than one person at the same time) is illegal in Tennessee, it is a critical step in the process of becoming married to another individual.


If you require strong legal representation for matters of divorce and family law in Memphis or anywhere in Tennessee, contact Rice Law to schedule a consultation with one of our experienced attorneys today.