It is important to keep your divorce decree safe and accessible for a number of reasons. Read on and reach out to our firm today to learn more. Our skilled Monmouth County divorce and separation attorneys are on your side.

Why do I need a copy of my divorce decree?

One of the most important things you will want to keep track of post-divorce is your divorce decree. Essentially, this is the official document that establishes your divorce. In New Jersey, divorce decrees have a gold seal sticker on them, and you may be asked for this “gold seal copy” for a number of reasons. It is very important that you save this document and keep it safe, because you may need it for more than one post-judgment matter. Some of the most common issues you will need it for can include:

1. Resume your maiden name
If you would like to take back your maiden name after a divorce, the divorce decree will be the document that permits you to do so. The judge will ask you about your intentions in continuing your maiden name. Ultimately, once a judge sees that it is an applicable request, he or she will sign the divorce judgment that has the full name you wish to resume, the last four digits of your social security number, and your birth date. Once you have the gold seal document, you can go to the Social Security office to start the procedure of switching 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 adjust your name on your credit cards, although many times the credit card companies will obtain a photocopy of the divorce decree.

2. Refinance a home
If you are keeping the marital residence after a divorce, you will likely have to refinance the home in order to clear your former spouse’s name and commitment from the mortgage. In order to do so, most mortgage lenders will ask to see the divorce decree as evidence that you are really divorced and not trying to deceive your spouse. Your lender may also want to see your Marital Settlement Agreement to determine if any explicit terms must be completed prior to funding your loan.

3. Re-marry
If you decide to take the plunge and re-marry, you will need your divorce decree when you apply for your marriage license. The state will want to detect that you are actually divorced and not just separated from a former spouse before they decide to issue you a new marriage license. This is because bigamy, (being legally married to more than one person at the same time), is illegal in New Jersey, it is an important step in the process of getting married to another person.


If you require strong legal representation for matters of divorce and family law in Rumson, Monmouth County, or anywhere in New Jersey, contact The Law Offices of Paone, Zaleski & Murphy to schedule a consultation with one of our experienced attorneys today.