Divorce Decree versus Divorce Certificate – What is the Difference?

LegalKart Editor
LegalKart Editor 04 min read 383 Views
What are you looking for

In several of our previous posts, we have been sharing details of one of the most stressful and difficult issues of married life. We sincerely wish that couples live their marriages happily and cordially. We also sincerely hope that couples who have been entangled in legal procedures get relief as soon as possible and are able to restore normalcy in their future lives.


Divorce usually is a very time-consuming process. In addition to the time it takes, divorce not only takes a severe toll on one’s mental and physical health but also burns a deep hole in the pockets of divorcing couples. This is true especially when the divorce proceedings happen on a contested basis. Emotions and feelings may not be pleasant in case of a mutual consent divorce either, but this process is comparatively quicker, to say the least.

Also Read:  Annulment vs. Divorce: How Are The Two Different?

On completion of the divorce proceedings, the family court issues a legal document to both the parties – divorce decree or divorce certificate – as per provisions of law formally dissolving the marriage once and for all (permanently).


Divorcing couples often confuse between both the terms – Divorce Decree and Divorce Certificate. It is imperative to understand these legal documents properly and the legal standing they have in a court of law. In short, both the Divorce Decree and Divorce Certificate are unique and are considered as different legal documents. One is the final court order of divorce and the other is the official proof of divorce. Let us have a look at the table below to understand then closely and in comparison, to each other.

Note: In this post, we are sharing the details about divorce decree and divorce certificate based on the Hindu Marriage Act 1955. However, different Indian religions may have slightly different provisions and processes. You may please consult a professional divorce lawyer for getting proper guidance on the subject.

Also Read:  Legally, How Compatible Is The Marriage Between A Hindu & Non-Hindu?



Divorce Decree

Divorce Certificate


It is the final order issued for dissolving the marriage permanently. This is also commonly referred to as divorce judgement.

It is an official document issued for record keeping purposes.

Stage of Issue

It is issued at the end of the final stage of divorce proceedings, whether divorce is contested or with mutual consent.

This is issued after the divorce decree is granted to the divorcing couples.

Time Taken to Grant

For a mutual consent divorce, maximum time taken is 18 months for granting the divorce decree.


For a contested divorce, it is generally not possible to ascertain the time taken by the family courts to grant the divorce decree

Since a divorce certificate is issued after the grant of a divorce decree:

  • In case of mutual consent divorce, the couple can apply for a divorce certificate maximum after 18 months on grant of the decree.
  • However, in case of a contested divorce, ascertaining a time frame is not possible.

Legal Status

A divorce decree is a legal order and is absolutely binding on both parties (divorcing couples).

The certificate is only valid legally once it is issued by the authorised department of the state government only after the divorce decree is granted by the family court.

Content of Document

Following may be the contents of a divorce decree covering both parties (husband and wife):

  • Full Name
  • Complete address
  • Date of Birth
  • Details of children, if any and their custody
  • Contact Details
  • Case Details
  • Judgement details
  • Declaration of Divorce
  • Details of Assets and Property
  • Alimony Amount
  • Other terms and conditions as applicable to the case

A divorce certificate has only the basic details of divorced couples (husband and wife). They may be limited to the following:

  • Full Name
  • Complete address
  • Date of Birth
  • Details of children, if any
  • Contact Details

Issuing Authority

This is issued by the family court of the local district of the state where marriage was solemnised.

This is issued by the competent department of the state government where divorce decree has been granted.

Applicable Act

Divorce Decree is granted as per provisions of section 13 of the Hindu Marriage Act 1955.

Divorce certificate is issued by the local state government largely as per provisions of the Hindu Marriage Act 1955.

Also Read:  Know About Mutual Consent Divorce After Six Months Of Marriage 

While we have shared the difference between the two very important documents, one of the most common attributes between them is that both are extremely important legal documents. Once divorce decree is granted and a divorce certificate is issues, they should be kept by the divorced couples with utmost care in their possession at all times.


Need of the Divorce Lawyer

Legal matters need a lot of care and compliance to legal provisions. Any laxity, misinformation or lack of knowledge may lead to disastrous outcomes in your case. Situation is much difficult and complicated when it comes to sensitive matters like divorce. Hence, involving a qualified divorce lawyer right from the beginning is the only prudent choice people can have.

Also Read: Fastest Divorce Process: How to Get a Quick Divorce

Ask a Lawyer

Welcome to LegalKart
Please tell us what legal issue you are facing?
LegalKart LegalKart

Need Help? I won't keep you waiting




Ask A Lawyer

Ask now and get answer within two hours from expert lawyers.