Finding Divorce Records

Finding divorce records can be difficult. Using online records searches is an easy way to get the information as to where the divorce decrees are filed.

Article summary: Court Procedures for Filing Divorce Decrees Differ from State to State

If you are looking for divorce records and go to a local county courthouse, you may be confused by the number of courts and offices. Each state has its own judicial system and way of filing divorce decrees. And while there is uniform approach, here is a simple guide to understanding searching for divorce records:

  • Every divorce has to be signed by a judge. If you are looking for a recent divorce decree, remember that it takes time to get a divorce, particularly if one spouse is contesting the divorce or if children are involved. While most states have no-fault divorce laws where a spouse can get a divorce rather easily, there is still mandatory waiting periods in most states. It can be awhile before divorce records are filed even after a judge signs the records.

  • While in many counties the divorce record has to be signed by a Superior Court judge, this is not true in every state. In fact, many counties do not call their highest court “Superior Court” but may call it “General Sessions Court” or another name. In some states, some lower court judges are allowed to hear divorce cases. And many case are filed in court by do not have “official” hearings. These are in rare cases where no children are involved and the divorce is friendly.

  • All divorce records are open record unless they are sealed by a judge. That means anyone can read all the dirty details of the split and the accusations made by both sides. That is why many private investigators and detectives look at divorce records when researching a subject. The way a person’s marriage dissolved can tell you a lot about a person.

  • It helps if you have a case number if you are going to a county courthouse to look for a divorce decree. Sometimes clerks are busy or are not helpful. You will need to search through stacks of files yourself or if you are lucky you can access the courthouse computer for information.

The easiest way to find out by divorce records is to stay home and search using an online vital records company. These companies have already done most of the work for you by putting divorce records from all 50 states in one convenient directory. All you need to do is enter the name and any other information of the person and it will tell you where to look for the official divorce decree. This saves you a lot of time searching through the county courthouses.

And online records searches are very economical. You can create an account that allows you to search a plethora of vital records for less than $100. If you need to find just one record, you can do a one time search, usually for less than $10.


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