How to Obtain a Divorce Date

By Mary Jane Freeman

To obtain your divorce date -- the date on which your divorce became final -- you can order copies of your divorce decree or divorce certificate. Typically, you can order these divorce records from the local court, the health department or from the attorney who represented you in the case.

Divorce Decree

A divorce decree is the official court order that establishes your legal divorce. It is signed and issued by the judge who presided over your divorce case. In addition to your divorce date, the decree contains the specific terms of your divorce, such as property and debt division, alimony, custody and child support. To order this document, contact the clerk of the court where the divorce proceeding took place. You will likely be charged a small fee for a certified copy. You may also obtain a copy from your attorney if you had one during your divorce.

Divorce Certificate

You can also obtain your divorce date by ordering a divorce certificate. Unlike the divorce decree, this document contains only basic information, such as spouses' names, date and place of divorce and case number. Divorce certificates are typically available through the state health department for a small fee. You may also order a divorce certificate online from VitalCheck, a vital records clearinghouse.

Divorce is never easy, but we can help. Learn More
Divorce is never easy, but we can help. Learn More
Differences Between Divorce Decrees and Divorce Certificates


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How to Get Divorce Copies From Oregon

It may be necessary to obtain a copy of your divorce paperwork for several reasons; you might need it to remarry or apply for a mortgage. There are two ways to obtain divorce paperwork in Oregon. The Oregon State Vital Records Office can provide a summary document called a divorce certificate or you can request a copy of the divorce decree from the county court that handled the divorce. A decree of divorce is the document containing the court's formal order finalizing your divorce and other issues involved in your divorce, such as custody and support.

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.

What Is Known As an Ex-Parte Divorce?

When a couple divorces, in most cases the divorce proceeding takes place in the state where the couple lives. However, some circumstances may arise where one of the parties is domiciled, or has legal residence, in another state, and does not participate in the divorce proceeding. This is called an ex-parte divorce.

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