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Is a divorce decree valid if signed by a judge 9 years later, and after a DWOP is issued?

Irving, TX |

In Jun 2004 a divorce petition was made and Oct 2004 a judge "pronounced and rendered" a decision, but did not sign the decree. In Oct 2007 the case # shows up on the DWOP list. The original decree, which was not on file with the county clerk, was signed then filed Mar 2013 claiming a "clerical error". In actuality, the petitioner failed to file the decree with the clerk. Not an administrative error.

Is this decree valid?
Does the DWOP effectively invalidate the decree?
Does it matter when the judge signs it versus "renders" it?
How is it a "clerical error" for the petitioner to withhold the decree?

On the matter of "nunc pro tunc", it seems that a clerical error correction applies to signed orders and/or where the court acts in error. What happens with an unsigned decree that is not filed because the petitioner failed to act? For example, Travis County documents for Nunc Pro Tunc corrections state: "Use these forms to fix a mistake, when the order that the judge has signed is incorrect." The forms contain language that states: " I bring this motion for Judgment to Correct Clerical Mistake (Nunc Pro Tunc) because: 1. A final judgment was signed in this case on ___________" Source:

Attorney Answers 1


I don't think the decree is valid--just a personal opinion without doing the research. That being said, unless you decide to contest its apparent validity by filing a suit for declaratory judgment, it's quite likely the nunc pro tunc will stand. Why not spend a little money and pay for some detailed research?This question does NOT call for an "off the cuff" answer.

I am not intending this to be legal advice, because I don't know the particulars of your situation. Call me if you would like to discuss this or other isues.

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