Today, most divorces end with the parties reaching a marital settlement agreement rather than going to trial. However, even in these cases divorce courts are still part of the divorce process, as divorce courts approve settlement agreements and issue the divorce decree. In the event the couple cannot come to an agreement, then the divorce court will also handle the trial.

A divorce that is resolved in court will cost much more than one that is resolved outside of divorce court, but in situations where a spouse is extremely uncooperative or is acting in bad faith, it may be the only option. After reviewing the case, the divorce court will then issue a ruling.

However, a divorce court does not have to rule immediately. Judges may decide to take the matter under advisement, in which case the parties will need to return to court at a later date. One of the attorneys will then write the judge's ruling into one or more court orders. Provided everyone agrees on the wording, the divorce will be finalized once the judge signs the order/s.