When a Divorce Decree is issued by the Court, it is called “Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law, Order for Judgment & Judgment and Decree.” This is the official Divorce Decree as it is signed by a Judge and is also file stamped by the County in which the Divorce is finalized.
A “Stipulated” Divorce Decree means that both the husband and wife agreed to all of the terms of their Divorce. Basically, this document contains the signatures of the husband, the wife and their respective lawyers (if represented by legal counsel), and the signature of the Court (Judge or Referee who signs off on the Divorce Decree).
Quite recently, in the event of an agreement, it was common practice to draft a Marital Termination Agreement (this document would only contain the signatures of the parties and their respective counsel). Once the MTA was signed by the spouses, it was presented to the Court along with the proposed Divorce Decree, which then needed to be signed by the Judge.
Now, in the event of an agreement, instead of drafting two (2) documents (MTA & Divorce Decree), only one (1) document can be prepared, signed and submitted to the Court (Stipulated Judgment & Decree).