How to Find Divorce Records

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Learn How to Locate a Divorce Record

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 looking up vital records and divorce records online.

Who Has Access to Divorce Records

Divorce certificates 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. The state of New York is the only state that automatically seals all divorce records for 100 years.

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. Other requests only receive a copy of the divorce decree record itself.

Why Someone Might Need Divorce Records

There are several reasons why you might want to request a certified copy of your own divorce records, including:

  • You want to change your name.
  • You want to get remarried.
  • You need proof of visitation schedule for school or police.
  • You want to start child support or alimony withholding.
  • You need it for income tax purposes.
  • You need to transfer property.
  • You need it for creditors.

There also are several reasons why you might want to obtain divorce records for another person, such as:

  • For probate court after the death of one of the parties in the divorce
  • To check marital status of a partner
  • For family history

What Information Is on Divorce Records

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.

How to Find Divorce Records

There are several 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/or state where the divorce was finalized.

  • Your Attorney: The easiest way to secure a copy of your divorce records is to contact your attorney. All attorneys store these records for many years after the divorce is finalized. Keep in mind that this will only be a copy of the divorce records and not a certified copy.
  • County Office: If you know the county and state where the divorce was finalized, you can check with that county’s Clerk of Courts office. You can make this request in person or by phone. Some counties also have an online service that allows you to make this request through its website. You will be required to complete a request form that includes basic information about the divorce, your name and the purpose of the request. You may incur a nominal fee for these services. The county office can provide a certified copy of the divorce certificate to authorized requestors.
  • State Vital Records: If you are not sure which county the divorce was finalized in, you can request these records at the state level. You should contact the Department of Vital Records in the state where the divorce took place. This can be done in person, by phone or online. Just like at the county level, you will need to complete a request form that includes all pertinent information and pay the required fee. The state also offers certified copies of the divorce certificate.
  • Online Third-Party Site: If you do not need a certified copy, and you want the records as fast as possible, you can use a third-party online website. Typically, you can receive your results within just minutes through the online vendor. SearchQuarry.com is third-party website where you can find divorce records. Search by name to find divorce records online for free with Search Quarry.
  • Historical Society: If you are searching for divorce record for genealogy purposes, you should check with the historical society in the county where the divorce took place. These local chapters typically have vital records, such as divorce records, dating back 100 years or more.

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Divorce Record Questions

Can I find divorce records online?

Yes, divorce record can be found online. There are many resources to lookup divorce records online such as public record websites and with the corresponding county courthouse website. Typically you can only get certified copies of divorce records through the county courts

Are divorce records publicly available?

Divorce records are public domain which means that anyone can view your divorce information. A divorce record is a life event that is recorded on the county and state level and can be sourced from the courthouse where the divorce was originally filed.

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Responses to “How to Find Divorce Records

  1. I need to know if a divorce has been finalized. Names are Gerald Wembo and Contrece Johnson. Married February of 2017 in Jacksonville, Florida.

    1. Gerald, we don’t show whether or not this divorce was finalized. Your best option to find out about your divorce being finalized is to contact the clerk of the court where you filed for divorce. They will be able to give you a status update of your divorce and if it’s been processed and finalized.

      How To Find Out If A Divorce Was Finalized

      You can find out if a divorce has been finalized by contacting the civil courthouse clerk where your divorce was originally filed and inquire with them. You can typically perform a divorce verification online, over the phone or in person.

    1. To find your divorce records or annulment records you can visit the courthouse where you originally filed your paperwork and request a copy there. This can sometimes be accomplished online depending on the court’s web resources.

      How to Find Annulment Records

      To find annulment records you can visit the courthouse where your annulment was filed and request a copy of your annulment record from the court clerk. There will be a small fee for a certified copy of your annulment and you must show photo ID.

    1. You will want to contact the relevant family divorce courthouse and inquire with the clerk if this is possible. Most divorce courts will have a record of divorces, annulments and legal separations that can sometimes go back several decades. Even though this is public record they might not be able to hand you a list but it’s a good starting place. If they can’t provide you with a list of divorces they can probably point you in the right direction.

      What Type of Court Handles Divorces?

      A divorce court is also know as a family court where they typically handle divorces, annulments and legal separations. These differ from criminal, civil and traffic courthouses that handle criminal legal matters, lawsuits and more serious crimes.

      Is an Annulment the Same as a Divorce?

      An annulment is different than a divorce because it dissolves the marriage as if it never happened. These situations are common and typically take place within a recent time frame from the marriage. Annulments can be initialed for a multitude of reasons such as; forced marriage, ineligible marriages, fraudulent marriages, religious objections and many more reasons as determined by the relevant courthouse.

  2. I\’m having a hard time trying to make phone calls to Atlanta Georgia to obtain a divorce certificate. Fulton county says they don\’t have it,dekalb county says no. I\’m stuck. I\’m not exactly sure when he did the divorce or what county. This happened in the \’80s. Need it to renew my Florida drivers license. Help!

    1. We don’t show any divorce records for you in our Georgia divorce record database. That being said, you can get a divorce verification from the Georgia Department of Health. Go to their website and download the request form, fill it out and submit it via mail. Divorce verifications will cost $10.

      Divorce Verifications Include

      1. The name of each party
      2. The date of the divorce
      3. The location the divorce was granted

  3. I am looking for divorce records for my parents, Richard William Dunnigan and Sharon Dunnigan (Sharon has no middle name) Richard filed in upstate NY I believe Wyoming County, Attica NY but we are not 100% sure if it is Wyoming Country but it definitely is a County in upstate NY. We think we can narrow the time frame to 1983-1996. Is there anyway you can help me?

    1. Our Divorce Records database does not show any results with the information you’ve provided. Another good place to find divorce records in New York is the NY State Department of Health. They are the managing NY state agency for vital records which include marriage and divorce records and birth and death records. You can request a copy of your parents divorce record online. If you have difficulties requesting this information online you can call the NY Department of Health @ 1-877-854-4481.

      How to Find New York Divorce Records

      1. Visit the NY Department of Health website
      2. Request a copy of NY divorce records
      3. Fill out the form and show proof of ID
      4. Pay the $15 fee for a certified copy
      5. Processing by mail may take a couple weeks

    1. We don’t show divorce records for the people you mentioned, in our vital records database. Below are some instructions on how to find divorce records from the Missouri Department of Health.

      How to Find Your Parents Divorce Record

      1. Visit the Department of Health website in your state
      2. Request a copy of a Divorce Record
      3. Fill out the Divorce Record request form
      4. Pay the fee for a copy of the Divorce Record
      5. Processing by mail may take several weeks

    1. We are not seeing the exact divorce date for you Jeff. To find the exact date of your divorce you can also contact the county courthouse clerk where you filled your divorce papers and inquire about this.

      How To Find My Divorce Date

      Contact the county courthouse clerk where your divorce papers were filed. Provide your full name and approximate date of your divorce and as much relevant information as possible. The court clerk should be able to provide you with the divorce date without filling out any paperwork.

  4. i am trying to file for widows benefits from social security. they tell me i have to have a divorce record from my hubsands first wife. I cannot find it. His name was Odie Rhinehart. He was born in Henderson County Texas as I belive his first wife was. I belive the wedding took place in Texas. She left and went op north somewhere and several years later filed for divorce. He received paper which he signed and sent back. I belive he ewceived the completed divorce papers back. She later remarried. We had a house fire and lost papers so now I am having to try to get papers I need. The divorce I think took place in the 80’s I remenber her first name as Effe. His birth date as 11/27/32 but she as younger. I know it sounds funny but I think the divorce took place in a state that began with a M. Can you help me I am despirate. Thank you

    1. You will need to contact the relevant state agency to obtain official copies of divorce records. In your case it seems like contacting the state archives would be your best bet unless you know for certain what county the divorce took place in. Below are a few ways to find divorce records, hopefully this information help you to obtain your social security benefits.

      4 Ways to Lookup Old Divorce Records

      1. Contact the state archives for copies of old divorce records
      2. Visit the county court clerk in the courthouse your divorce took place
      3. Visit the Vital Check website and inquire about divorce records
      4. Contact the state Department of Health and Vital Records

  5. I am trying to obtain proof of my divorce 37 years ago so I can get my social security after retiring. I still live in Knoxville TN, where I lived at the time of divorce.

    1. Carolyn Shelton,

      We are happy to assist you with looking up a divorce record however our resources are for online reference only. If you need an actual copy of your Tennessee divorce decree or divorce records you will want to contact the Tennessee Department of Health and Vital Records.

      How To Find Divorce Records in Tennessee

      • Contact the Tennessee Department of Health and Vital Records
      • You can request a copy of divorce records by in person, online or by mail
      • Online divorce record certificates are serviced by a 3rd party company called Vital Check
      • Processing times vary depending on the method of obtaining a divorce certificate copy
      • Copies of Tennessee Divorce Certificates are $15 each

  6. I am looking for a date of divorce and nothing more. This is for Kevin C Berthelsen and was married in Jackson County Mo. should be around 1989-1991.

    1. Briana,

      We don’t show any Missouri divorce decree dates in our database resources. You might also want to check with the Missouri Department of Health and Vital Records as they manage the divorce records for the state of Missouri. You can also contact your Missouri county courthouse clerk.

      How To Request Missouri Divorce Records

      1. Contact the Missouri Department of Health & Vital Records in person
      2. Request an official copy of your divorce decree
      3. Present your photo ID and pay the relevant fees
      4. Processing of your divorce decree can be same day if requests are made by 3pm

    1. Samy,

      We do not have a divorce record decree for you in our database resources. Your best bet is to go to the California county superior court that issued the divorce decree and talk to the county court clerk for a certified copy.

      How To Get a Copy of My Divorce Records

      1. Visit the County Courthouse where you received your divorce decree
      2. Inquire with the County Courthouse Clerk for a certified copy of your divorce decree
      3. Prepare to show ID and pay the fee for the certified copy

  7. HI Im trying to look up divorce and any other public records for Jose Miguel Morales. Hes in Selma, NC but from Dos Palos, CA. I tried to go online at the Wake County page and I cannot find where to obtain them other than to go in the court house or call cleark of deeds. Can you help me go about this online?

    Thank you!

    1. Ally,

      We checked our North Carolina divorce record database and id not find any divorce or marriage records for Miguel Morales. We also searched our general public records database for Miguel in North Carolina and didn’t find any results. Is it possible that his primary residence is in another state? If so we will need more information to perform a nationwide divorce records search since there are many people with the same first and last name. If you can provide us with his middle name, age and previous addresses we can potentially find his public records for you. Your best chance is to contact the North Carolina Department of Health and Vital Records office.

      How To Lookup North Carolina Divorce Records

      1. Visit the North Carolina Department of Health and Vital Records Website
      2. Request a copy of a Divorce Certificate
      3. You will need identification to get a certified divorce certificate
      4. Processing time takes up to 5 weeks

  8. How can I find out if my spouse was ever married in the state of New Jersey? We were married in Pa and I still currently reside in Pa.

    1. Mandi,

      If you can provide us with your spouses full name, age and state and county of residence we can lookup this information in our divorce records database for you. The other option is to contact the New Jersey Department of State and perform a vital records search.

      How To Find Marriage and Divorce Records in New Jersey

      1. Contact the New Jersey Department of State
      2. Click on the Vital Records search tab and search by name
      3. If you know the county where the marriage took place search by county
      4. You can also contact the NJ Department of Health and contact the county clerk

  9. He was married breifly 36 yrs ago believes he got divorce no proof tho how can i find out if my marriage is leagal

    1. Lisa,

      We can certainly search our database resources for a divorce record but we will need some more information first. Can you provide his full name, including middle, age and state and county of residency. Divorce records are recorded on a state and county level and many people have the same first and last name so any additional information you can provide will help us track down any available divorce records for you. The other option is to contact the county court clerk where you think the divorce took place and they can assist you as well.

      As far as your marriage goes you will want to verify with the court where you filed your marriage certificate to verify the legitimacy of your marriage. Without more information we cannot provide you with specifics on how to verify marriage and divorce records.

      Where can I get a copy of my divorce papers?

      1. Contact the county courthouse where the divorce record was filed
      2. Search courthouse records by phone or by the court public records terminal
      3. Ask the county court clerk to verify a divorce filing via phone or in person
      4. Verify the names and dates on the divorce record for accuracy

    1. We don’t see any divorce records for Manek in our database. Below is how you can obtain divorce records via the New York Department of Health website.

      How to Get a Copy of a New York Divorce Record

      1. Visit the New York Department of Health Website
      2. There are 2 types of divorce records to choose from
      3. Decide if you want a divorce decree or divorce certificate
      4. Only a spouce or a court order can get a divorce certificate
      5. Fill out the form to obtain divorce information
      6. Pay the $30 fee for the divorce record copy

    1. Mike,

      We can assist you with how to find divorce records but first we’ll need some more information. Can you provide us with the state and county of residency and the approximate age of the person in question.

      How Can I Get a Certified Copy of My Divorce Records

      1. Get the full name of the person and state and county of residence
      2. Contact the State Department of Heath and Vital Records
      3. See if you can obtain a Certified copy. Sometimes only immediate family can do this
      4. Fill out the divorce request form and pay the nominal fees

  10. My ex says she divorced me years ago. I have no information regarding this, neither when or where. How do I access such info I want to remarry.

    1. Timothy, there are a few ways to run a divorce verification. First, you can give us your full name age and state and county of residence and we’ll run a divorce record search for you. The second option is to contact the Department of Public Health in the state that you live in and make your divorce record / vital record inquiry with them. A third option, which will cost a little bit more money is to use the service VitalChek.com which is the same service used by many of the United States county courthouses to procure copies of court records, which include marriage and divorce records as they are both recorded by the courts as a life event, or vital record.

  11. How can I verify if my divorce has been processed?

    1. Go to the Courthouse website where your divorce took place
    2. Search your divorce records by name
    3. Verify if the divorce is finalized
    4. You can also ask the courthouse clerk for assistance

  12. Roxanne,

    We do not show a divorce date for Dee Ann Warren’s divorce in our database. Is it possible that she was divorced in another state? We do show records for that name in other states but we’ll also need her middle name to verify this information. You can also check with the County Court that issued the Divorce Decree.

    How to Lookup Divorce Records in California

    1. Contact the California county court that issued the divorce decree
    2. Request a certified or non certified copy of the divorce record
    3. Fill our the divorce record request form
    3. Pay the fee for the divorce record copy
    4. It can take up to 3 days to process your order

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Last Updated: August 18, 2020

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