How to Get a Free Copy of Divorce Records

By Shannon Johnson

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.

Getting Prepared

Step 1

Gather all identifying court information. For example, the parties' names, the case number, the date the case was filed and the court that heard the case. At a minimum you will need the parties' names and the case number in order to find divorce records online or to submit a request via mail.

Step 2

Contact the clerk of court and determine if they accept pauper or indigent affidavits. This affidavit will allow you to waive any fees related to getting your divorce records. Find out if you can return the form via mail or if you have to complete it in person.

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

Step 3

Determine if you will qualify for indigent status. Normally the indigent guidelines for civil cases is for people whose income is at or 200 percent below the National Poverty Guidelines. If you don't qualify for indigent status proceed to the next step.

Step 4

Ask the clerk of court if there is online access to divorce court records or if requests are required to be mailed. This is also a good time to find out if there are any associated copying or access fees.

Getting Records

Step 1

If the court does not provide online access, mail in a written request to the clerk of court. Your request should include: a letter stating the divorce action case number, the parties' names and a request for all records relating to the case number. Make sure to provide the clerk with a return stamped envelope with your name and address on it.

Step 2

For courts that provide online access, go directly to the clerk of court's website to access the divorce records. You will need to input the parties' names and/or case numbers in order to view and print the records.

Step 3

You can also access free divorce records on sites such as Divorce Records.org and Legal Dockets Online and Public Records Center. All of these sites allow access to divorce records in all 50 states, which is more feasible for those conducting multiple searches, or searches in a state different than the one they reside in.

Divorce is never easy, but we can help. Learn More
How to Obtain Personal Divorce Records in Vancouver, BC

References

Resources

Related articles

How to Obtain Divorce Records in Philadelphia

Your safe or safety deposit box should contain important documents such as your will, real estate title documents and divorce records. If you obtained a divorce in Philadelphia and you need a copy of your divorce records, you can get a copy at the court clerk's office.

How to File for Retroactive Divorce

A retroactive divorce is called divorce nunc pro tunc. The Latin literally means "now for then"; that is, the court will correct now what should have been done correctly earlier. State law typically allows such a decree only when the court meant to enter a divorce but, due to clerical errors, the divorce was not actually entered. In this situation, the court can correct the error. The official date for the divorce can be made retroactive to the date it should have been entered.

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 Jersey State Archives maintain divorce records from 1900 and prior, while the Superior Court Public Information Center keeps divorce records from 1901 to 1992. To obtain divorce records from 1992 to the present, you must contact the local courthouse that handled the divorce. For divorce records from any year, you will likely have an easier search if you have case information, such as the spouses' names, divorce date, docket number and location of the local court that handled the divorce.

Get Divorced Online

Related articles

How to Get a Copy of a Divorce Online in New Jersey

Certified divorce documents are often needed for various financial transactions and other legal matters. The New Jersey ...

How to Get Copies of a Divorce Decree in Texas

If you need a copy of a Texas divorce decree, you must request it from the district clerk at the courthouse where the ...

Are Divorce Records a Matter of Public Record?

The divorce process can be highly invasive. Yet the disclosure of intimate personal details can be necessary to ...

How to Get Free Divorce Papers

An uncontested divorce is one is which both partners agree on all of the aspects of the divorce, such as the grounds ...

Browse by category
Ready to Begin? GET STARTED