How to Access Divorce Records

What is a divorce record compared to a divorce decree and a divorce certificate?

A divorce decree is the final judgement and order given on the conclusion of the divorce hearing. The divorce decree is used to enforce the rights and duties of both parties in the divorce. The order includes information on the division of the marital assets and child custody. It also includes the details of spousal support and alimony amount agreed upon.


However, a divorce record includes detailed information. It has the details of the court in which the divorce has been filed, the proceedings for the same and the stage at which the case is. Divorce records do not include the identity of the children and information of the victims of sexual assault and domestic violence.


A divorce record has the details of a divorce certificate and a divorce decree, unless you’re seeking this information from a state that doesn’t allow the details of the divorce decree and the divorce certificate to be added to the public records.


A divorce certificate has the details of the names of the parties who have sought/were granted the divorce and the place of divorce. The divorce certificate is required to get remarried and to change the name on the driver’s license.


Are divorce records public?

Generally, divorce records are a part of vital records and are available to the general public. The only divorce records that are unavailable are the ones sealed by the judge hearing the case. However, even in this case, rarely will all the information pertaining to the divorce be sealed.


That said, divorce records are only sealed upon the request of both parties involved in the matter. The judge has to approve the request before this information is sealed and removed from the public domain.


Although divorce records have information on children, child custody, alimony payments, cases/complaints of domestic violence, social security numbers, net worth, bank account details and other financial data, these are never made available to the public.


Where can I get a copy of my divorce records?

Divorce records are available online and offline. However certified copies of the divorce papers are only available with the clerk of courts. Divorce records online do not include the divorce decree as this is only available to the parties involved in the divorce.


Many websites offer divorce records online for free or for a small fee. In most states, the divorce records can be found online and offline. However, in some states like in California, one has to submit a request to the superior court or visit the clerk of superior court to get any document related to the divorce.


How can I get my daughters divorce decree?

The detailed process of getting the divorce decree involves visiting/writing to the Vital Records Unit of the county/state and providing a request form with the following:


Basic Information: Write a brief and to the point letter. It is better to give a printed letter to avoid the misunderstanding a handwritten letter is susceptible to. Be crisp and clear in the request, and while providing information, add a maximum of two requests. In the letter:


  • – Provide details of the divorced parties.
  • – Offer the reason why the document is needed.
  • – Be sure to give the names with all the possible spelling formations, alias’ and nick names.


You may be expected to pay the additional amount needed for a detailed search, if you are unable to provide the exact month and year of divorce and provide an estimated duration in which the divorce was finalized. While making such request by mail, it is always recommended that you use a self-addressed printed or stamped envelope.


Specific Information: : In addition to the above, you will also have to provide details such as:


  • – Request date
  • – Full names of the divorced parties.
  • – The wife’s maiden name.
  • – Date and place of divorce.
  • – The final decree type.
  • – Name, relationship with divorced parties.
  • – Address with state.
  • – Signature of the person requesting the record.
  • – A copy of a government photo ID like a driver’s license.

How can you find out if someone has filed for a divorce?

Details of divorce records are available on many websites. If you have information of the parties involved in the divorce, it is easy to get the details. The full name of both the parties and their birth dates and place where they filed for divorce are perquisite for this search.


The most common way to access certified copies of divorce records is by sending a request form by email, mail or fax. It will take 20-30 working days to receive the records. If you need them in a hurry, you’ll have to pay a fee to a third-party agency to get them. In a lot of cases, authorized copies of the divorce records can only be obtained by the attorneys or parents of the parties involved.


If it is not possible to get an authorized copy, you can get an information copy. The information copy has all the required information, however due to the imprint on it, it can cannot be used for official purposes.

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