Getting a divorce is not as simple as cutting up your wedding certificate. It requires one or both parties to petition the courts for a divorce decree. Once the parties have come to an agreement or the judge issues his judgment, the divorce is finalized, and both parties receive a certified divorce certificate. This certificate serves as proof that the divorce is official. If you have lost your official certificate, or you are looking for information about another person’s divorce, these records are available; you just have to know where to look. Being able to answer the question of how to find divorce records online can save you a lot of time, otherwise wasted, by making an appointment with the court clerk. Another option is to use the Vital Check resource, which is used by many government agencies for servicing people that need an official copy of their own divorce certificate. To begin your quest to find someone’s divorce record you will need a few pieces of information, their full name, the state and county they got divorced in.
Divorce records are considered public records, which means that anyone has access to the details within the records. The only exception is if the courts seal some or all of the divorce proceedings. This can happen for a variety of reasons, for example, to protect the names of domestic violence victims or to protect sensitive information, such as financial data. Even if parts of the divorce records are sealed, you typically can still find basic information such as the date when the divorce was finalized. However, it is important to note that only the parties involved in the divorce and their immediate family members (in the case of a death) can request a certified copy of the divorce certificate. Other requests only receive a copy of the divorce decree record itself. Each state manages their own divorce records and what is publicly available may vary. For the most part, most all information listed on a divorce certificate is public record that anyone can view.
There are several reasons why people might want to research or request divorce records and divorce certificates. Again, only the divorced parties are allowed to make a request to obtain a copy of their divorce certificate since they are official government documents. All other divorce records can be viewed online by anyone, via the Freedom of Information Act.
If you gain access to the complete divorce records, you will have all the information pertaining to the divorce, including the full names and dates of birth of both parties, the county and state they were married in, the county and state they were divorced in, the official date of the divorce, reason for the divorce, and any judgments ordered by the courts, such as child custody, child support, alimony and division of property. If any portions of the divorce record are sealed, or you are not authorized to gain access to the entire record, you still should be able to find the full names of both parties, the date of the divorce and the county and state where the divorce took place. Some of the divorce information may be limited depending on what is available and what is considered public record in the state that the divorce was filed in.
There are a few ways you can find divorce records, but before you start searching, you will need a few pieces of information, including the names of both parties in the divorce, their dates of birth, if available, and the county and state where the divorce was finalized.
To obtain official divorce records first begin by ascertaining how divorce records are handled in the state where the divorce was granted. The state’s department of health and vital records is a great place to start to obtain a copy of your official divorce documents. They manage and archive all divorce records and you can typically order a copy of your own divorce certificate or divorce documents online and have an official copy mailed to you for a small fee. You will need to verify your identity and pay a nominal fee for this service. You may also be able to make your request for these official documents over the phone and in person.
Divorce records may be sealed by request of the parties involved. Sealed divorce records are legally restricted by a court order which means it will not be publicly available. These sealed records may be completely or partially sealed in order to protect a minor child’s identity, high profile individuals, domestic violence related divorces, and to safeguard sensitive financial information. Sealing also prevents false allegations from being made public. In this case, the information will be accessible only to the parties and their attorneys. It’s also important to mention that by sealing a divorce record, they are still there and not erased, they’re just not accessible to the general public. If someone wants to unseal a divorce record, it will be up to the parties involved and the courts.
A dissolution of marriage records is another way to say divorce. It’s the termination of a marriage and a cancellation of the union of two married people, as determined by the courts. The marriage dissolution is typically a mutual agreement between the spouses, unless there is some significant conflict or domestic abuse in this situation. The process of a dissolution of marriage is typically the same as a divorce as long as it’s agreed upon by both parties. It is typically considered a no-fault process which means there is no need for a court process and mediation. Each state handles this marriage dissolution slightly differently and the access to these records are considered public domain as long as they are not sealed.