What Is an Exemplification of Divorce?

by Karyn Maier

An exemplification is an official transcript or copy of a public document that certifies it is a true copy of the original. An exemplified copy of a record, also known as an apostille copy, also authenticates the signature of the parties involved and the seal of the issuing agency, but not the accuracy of the document's content. Records eligible for exemplification include educational transcripts, marriage records, birth certificates, adoption papers and divorce decrees.

Historical Significance

The term “apostille” is French for “notation”. As the term applies to legal documents, an apostille is the standard form of authentication of a public record pursuant to the 1961 Hague Conference on Private International Law, which established the simplified method of apostille certification to authenticate documents between countries that took part in the convention and signed the Hague Treaty. An exemplified certification has all the benefits of an apostille certification, but applies to countries that did not sign the Hague Treaty, such as Cuba and Venezuela.

Function

The purpose of an exemplification of any document is to attest to the identification of the person or persons to which it is issued and ensure that the signatures on the document are valid. An exemplification of divorce is the testimony of the issuing agency that it has the legal authority to grant the divorce to the parties named on the document. The point of obtaining this level of certification is to make sure that the validity of a document accepted in one country is also recognized in other countries.

Format

An exemplification of divorce usually consists of a certification page attached to a true copy of the original judgment in its entirety, the authenticity of which is sworn to by the signatures of the judge and the court clerk of the court where the divorce was filed. This page will typically also contain the official seal of the court.

Procedure for Acquisition

Requesting an exemplification of divorce is often a two-step process. In New York and Georgia, for example, it is necessary to obtain a certified copy of the divorce record and submit it to the appropriate agency for authentication, and, at the same time, make your request for an apostille copy or an exemplified copy. In Florida, however, it is sufficient to make your request for an exemplified copy of divorce from the Office of Vital Statistics in a letter that contains the relevant details of the record with a valid photo identification.