The singer dabbed her eyes with a tissue as Orange County Superior Court Judge Franz E. Miller ruled the divorce will become final on April 24.
After the hearing Wednesday, Houston declined to comment to reporters.
Brown's attorney, Ram Cogan, said he will seek to overturn the judge's decision.
Houston filed divorce papers in October, citing irreconcilable differences. She was granted a default judgment in December to speed up the divorce. Miller's ruling Wednesday upheld the terms of that judgment.
Houston and Brown wed in 1992, when she was at the height of her fame as a Grammy-winning superstar known for hits such as "I Will Always Love You."
During their tumultuous marriage, Brown was arrested for drugs and alcohol, and Houston twice entered drug rehabilitation programs.