How to Check Divorce Records

By Timothy Mucciante

Notwithstanding the age of computerized records, finding divorce records can be a difficult and time consuming task. Not only are divorce records spread among the 50 states, and each county for that state, but many county courts do not have their divorce records online or electronically available to the public. In these cases, the person searching for a divorce record has no choice but to manually examine the relevant files in the local county court where the information is located.

Notwithstanding the age of computerized records, finding divorce records can be a difficult and time consuming task. Not only are divorce records spread among the 50 states, and each county for that state, but many county courts do not have their divorce records online or electronically available to the public. In these cases, the person searching for a divorce record has no choice but to manually examine the relevant files in the local county court where the information is located.

Step 1

Determine the state and county where the person for whom you want divorce records resides or resided. Most states have jurisdictional requirements as to how long a person must be a resident in the state before a divorce can be granted. Also, many county courts have local rules that establish a specific number of days that a party in a divorce must be a resident in that county before a divorce action may be filed.

Divorce is never easy, but we can help. Learn More

Step 2

Obtain the contact information for the local court that handles divorces. That information is widely available on the Internet. For instance, the National Center for State Courts has a state-by-state directory of local court contact information available on its website. You can also obtain this information by contacting any local court clerk. They often have a directory of the county court clerks throughout the state.

Step 3

Contact the court clerk for the county where the divorce may have occurred and ask if that state has centralized records for divorce decrees. Many states, such as Florida, Wisconsin and Washington State, maintain vital records, including divorce decrees, at the state level. If the particular state in which the divorce information is sought does not have centralized vital records, the local clerk of the court will be able to help you find local county divorce records.

Step 4

Do an Internet search for the county where the divorce potentially occurred, using key words like “court clerk,” “county clerk” or "vital records." If a website for that county is found, public access to divorce records may be possible. If you have any questions about the website, the county clerk's office may be contacted for guidance. Because of the sensitivity of family court matters, some online divorce information may be limited.

Step 5

Go to the clerk's office for the county in which the divorce is suspected to have been granted. Depending on the county, divorce records may only be accessible electronically from the clerk's office itself. In that case, computer terminals in the clerk's office will give the public access to those records. The clerk's staff should be able to advise you in using these computer terminals.

Step 6

Access the divorce records manually if no computer system exists in the clerk's office where you are searching. Although this is more the exception than the rule in today's information age, the clerk's office staff will assist you in manually accessing court records to look for the relevant divorce file. In those cases where a clerk's office does not have electronic access to court records, they usually have an alternatively good system is in place for manually retrieving divorce files.

Divorce is never easy, but we can help. Learn More
How to Get a Copy of a Divorce Online in New Jersey

References

Resources

Related articles

How to Find a Last Will & Testament in Texas

Finding a Last Will and Testament in Texas is necessary if you want to settle the affairs of a deceased person, contest a will or have a general interest in the estate -- for example, for historical or genealogy purposes. A Last Will and Testament is a legal document on which a person details how his assets are to be distributed among his loved ones after death. Wills may be filed for safekeeping in Texas probate courts and are needed to commence probate proceedings, the legal process for the settlement of estates.

How to Obtain Personal Divorce Records in Vancouver, BC

To find divorce records in Vancouver, you have two straightforward options. For more recent cases, you must apply to the Supreme Court registry, which has divorce certificates on file. Information on older divorce cases (1983 and previous) is accessible at the Vancouver Public Library. Public information in divorce cases includes the names of the parties, the case file number and the date the case was filed. The public may also access the divorce certificate and any orders issued by the court.

How to Get a Free Copy of Divorce Records

Whenever parties are involved in a divorce action, the clerk of court will create a permanent record of every document filed by the attorneys or parties that represented themselves. Thanks to the new wave in court technology, most record searches can be conducted online. However, in some instances a request will have to be conducted in person or via mail.

Get Divorced Online

Related articles

How to Find Wills

Wills not only provide information about heirs and inheritance, but also help those tracing family history or ...

How to Find Divorce Records for the State of New Jersey

In New Jersey, the process for finding and requesting divorce records depends on the date of the divorce. The New ...

How to Search for Wills Online

County courts and recording offices house many types of records, including deeds, mortgages and court proceedings. ...

How to Find Out If Someone Legally Changed Her Name

As long as it's not for a fraudulent or illegal purpose, adults are normally allowed to change their names by ...

Browse by category
Ready to Begin? GET STARTED