A divorce decree, the final order from the court that officially ended the marriage, is needed for various reasons, such as to verify the divorce terms and to prove the divorce is final. Losing the original divorce decree makes proving the divorce terms or end of the marriage more difficult. Either former spouse has the right to get a certified — or official — copy of the divorce decree from the California county superior court that issued the decree.
Visit the California county superior court that issued the divorce decree. Bring your photo identification, such as a valid state license or passport.
Tell the court clerk you need a certified copy of the divorce decree, and ask for a copy request form. Though the forms vary by county, you typically need the following information: the names of both parties to the divorce, the date the divorce was filed, and the date the decree was issued. Sign and date the form. Give the form and your identification to the court clerk.
Pay the clerk the fee for the copy. Fees vary by California county. Keep the divorce decree in a safe place.
Tips & Warnings
- The superior court might have other options, such as ordering by mail or online. Options for decree retrieval vary by California county.
- Call the superior court if your divorce is older; the file might be in storage. You may need to ask for document retrieval before you go to the court to get the decree.
References & Resources
- California Department of Public Health: Obtaining Certified Copies of Marriage & Divorce Records
- Superior Court of California, County of Orange: How to Obtain Copies of Documents in My File?
- U.S. Vital: State of California
- Superior Court of California, County of Placer: How to Request Copies
- California Courts: Superior Courts List
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