There are a variety of reasons why youmay need divorce records. Whether therecord is your own, you are confirming adivorce of another individual, orconducting genealogy research, you canperform a search and oftentimes requestdivorce records if you have the rightresources.
Starting with the County Courthouse Divorce records are considered “vital records,” which also include birth, death, and marriage records. However, a divorce record is a legal document, and thus, you will usually be able to find them in the courthouse records in the county in which the divorce was finalized.
If you know the exact county in which thedivorce took place, you can contact thatcounty courthouse clerk to find out the feesand procedure for requesting divorcerecords. Perform a simple online searchwith the county name and state to find acontact for that specific county.
You will most likely find the contact information you need.If that doesn‟t work, you can find a list of countycourts and their contact information on eachofficial state page. Simply type the URL:www.state.XX.us, where „XX‟ is replaced by theactual state code. For instance, to bring up theofficial state website for South Dakota, enterwww.state.SD.us. Official state websites have avariety of helpful information. Look for links tocourts or state agencies to find the county youseek.
Information to Supply to the County Clerk When you find the county contact you are searching for, you will need to provide information to help the clerk search for the divorce record you need. You will usually be required to complete a form and include information such as the divorce file number, names of individuals, and a reason you are requesting the record.
Since official divorce files contain privateand sensitive information, many states onlygrant official copies to the individualsidentified on the divorce decree. You maybe able to simply confirm that a divorcerecord exists, however. Other states,however, consider divorce records publicrecords, and anyone may obtain a copy.
Online Resources to Access Divorce Records You also have many resources available online to search for divorce records. Many private agencies and businesses perform vital records searches. Most will charge a fee or provide only limited information for free. You can perform a free public record search for individuals.
Enter the name of an individual, and thisservice will provide a list of potentialmatches. If you want further information,you can pay for their service to provide therecords.
You may also get valuable information fromwww.vitalchek.com, which is a LexisNexiscompany. LexisNexis is the most trusted globalleader in information research. VitalChekprovides easy directions and step-by-stepinstructions for ordering vital records, includingdivorce records. VitalChek also provides helpfulguides to determine whether divorce recordsare public or ID-only in each state.
Your search for divorce records canbe successful. Use the resourcesprovided here, or do a more specificsearch online to get the informationyou need.
Divorce records can be particularly helpful for anumber of reasons. Here are just a few:• You are a party of the divorce and need a copy for your records.• You need to verify whether an individual is divorced.• Check divorce records for previous criminal history,• You are performing genealogy research and need to find information on a family member.
• States that Provide Divorce Records to the Public• Divorce records are legal documents found in county courts, therefore they are considered to be public records. However, can anyone access divorce records and can they be requested for free?
The answer is: it depends. Although divorce records arecourt records, they are not always available to thegeneral public, and they are not always available forfree. Because divorce records often contain sensitiveinformation about an individual, including income,criminal, and other private information disclosed duringthe divorce proceedings, the records are often releasedonly to individuals involved, and only if they provideproper identification. However, some states do releaserecords to any person who requests them.
To get a better picture if divorce records are available to anyone and if there is a charge, you can visithttp://www.cdc.gov/nchs/w2w.htm. Here you can find state vital records agencies andinformation on how to contact for search and payment information.
“Free” Online Divorce Records However, if you wanted help obtaining divorce records, are there resources that explain how you can obtain a divorce record for free? Yes, there are online websites that do offer information on whether you can order divorce records for free. But be careful – most websites that promote “free” divorce records only perform free searches. If a record is found, you then must pay a fee for it.
However, most websites that advertise freedivorce or public records offer only limitedinformation, such as confirmation that adivorce record exists for an individual in aspecific county. This type of information maybe all you need. To get more detailedinformation, you will generally be required topay a fee for searches and copies ofrecords.
Many websites offer free genealogy recordssearches, and some will provide divorce recordsas well. At Archives.com, you can get a free 7-day trial and access over 1 billion records from allstates. Archives.com not only conducts searchesand provides record information on the individualyou are looking for, but it also provides a host ofother state, vital records, and genealogyresources for you to use in your search fordivorce records.
If you are doing research and needinformation about a specific divorce, lookto the resources provided here. Freeinformation is available if you have theright resource to access.