Not always. If parties agree on everything, a “Consent Decree” signed by both parties and their attorneys (if applicable) is sent to the assigned Judge. The Judge will review the Consent Decree and any other documents submitted, and, if everything is in order, the Judge will sign and enter the Decree to finalize your case. If parties do not agree on all issues, a Trial will be held so that the Judge can decide the unresolved issues. Generally, the Judge must issue his/her decision within 60 days after the trial. The Judge’s decision is usually the final Decree, although sometimes the Judge will instruct one of the lawyers to prepare a final Decree to include the Judge’s decision. If no answer has been filed, the filing party may have to go to Court for a brief hearing, so the Judge can enter the Decree by default.