How to Find Divorce Records

Name Phone Number License Plate VIN
Name Phone Number License Plate VIN

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 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.

Who Has Access to Divorce Records

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.

Why Someone Might Need Divorce Records

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

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.

What Information is on a Divorce Record

  1. Full names of both spouses
  2. Date and location of the divorce
  3. Date and location of the marriage
  4. The divorce case or certificate number
  5. The county courthouse where the divorce was filed
  6. The judge or legal authority that finalized the divorce
  7. The information listed on the divorce decree
  8. Names of the children from the divorced parents
  9. Attorney information, if available
  10. Circumstances for the divorce, if available

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.

How to Get a Copy of a Divorce Record

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.

  • Your Attorney: A simple way to secure a copy of your own 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 public record website. Typically, you can receive your results within just minutes through the online vendor. is third-party website where you can find divorce records. Search by name to find divorce records online 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.

How To Lookup Divorce Records

How To Search For Official Divorce Documents

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. 

Sealed Divorce Records 

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.

What is a Dissolution of Marriage Records?

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.

Divorce Record Questions & Answers

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.

Are divorce decrees public record?

Yes, unless they are sealed, divorce decrees are public record that anyone can view. As long as the divorce is finalized the divorce decree will be part of a person's public record

Is a dissolution of marriage and a divorce the same?

They are basically the same and interchangeable terms. Some states refer to the dissolution of marriage as a no-fault termination of the marriage where both parties agree on the terms of the dissolution. This is the same as a divorce for all intensive purposes however, some divorces that are contested are not considered a dissolution of marriage if there is a court battle for assets or child custody.

Leave Reply - See responses below:

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Responses to “How to Find Divorce Records

  1. says:

    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.

  2. says:

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

  3. says:

    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.

  4. says:

    I\’m looking for divorce and annulment paper work

  5. says:

    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.

  6. says:

    How do i get a list of recent divorces in my city?

  7. says:

    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

  8. says:

    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!

  9. says:

    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

  10. says:

    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?

  11. says:

    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

  12. says:

    I\’m looking for my parents divorce records. James and Patricia Corner from Missouri

  13. says:

    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.

  14. says:

    Jeffrey rock ferguson and Pamela ellen petry divorce date 1990 wayne county Michigan, Detroit.

  15. says:

    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

  16. says:

    Looking to see if my partner’s divorce has been finalized

  17. says:

    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

  18. says:

    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

  19. says:

    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

  20. says:

    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.


digging for info
Reviewed 2018-08-12T13:24:43, by Ina   4/5 Stars

checking out my date to see what his divorce history is

great search
Reviewed 2018-08-11T23:45:25, by Meta   4/5 Stars

great search to find out if my divorce records are available to others

Great website
Reviewed 2018-05-30T23:58:11, by Marcus   5/5 Stars

Great website in looking up divorce records to find out about the guy I was dating.

Reviewed 2018-04-09T12:11:22, by Jaime J.   5/5 Stars

I can’t believe how quickly my results came back. This is a fantastic service and it will be my go to site in the future when I need to do look ups.

Reviewed 2018-04-09T12:11:39, by Allie F   5/5 Stars

The site does exactly what it says and doesn’t waste your time. You receive your results quickly at a reasonable cost.

Show all reviews
Last Updated: 2023-01-17

Please be advised that the information accessed through searches may not always be accurate or current, as we neither generate nor authenticate the data provided via our service. The reliability and precision of information are primarily contingent upon diverse public sources from which data is compiled. By utilizing, you acknowledge your acceptance of the terms delineated in the terms of service and our privacy policies. Information acquired via must not be utilized for unlawful purposes such as stalking or harassing individuals, or scrutinizing public figures or celebrities. Individuals who contravene these directives may be subject to both civil and criminal legal proceedings and sanctions. It is explicitly stated that does not function as a "consumer reporting agency" as defined by the Fair Credit Reporting Act ("FCRA"), and therefore, does not furnish "consumer reports" pursuant to the FCRA. strictly prohibits the utilization of information garnered from search results (a) for discriminatory practices against any consumer; (b) for assessing a consumer's eligibility for personal credit, insurance, employment, housing, or government licenses or benefits; or (c) in any other manner that may impact a consumer's economic or financial status or standing.