What is the Final Divorce Record?

Article Summary: A final divorce record is available after the parties have worked out the details of the divorce. Using online records searches will help you find this record fast and efficiently.

Most divorces happen in stages. Many records are filed before the word “final” is stamped on the divorce record and it becomes part of the county vital records. This can be confusing to someone who is searching for information about a divorce. Here is some clarity on what happens during a divorce before it filed with other county vital records.

  • One spouse sues the other for divorce. While this is a divorce record that is filed in court, it is not mean that the divorce is going to be granted in the way the petitioner wants or that it will even be granted at all. Many times a person files for divorce and then later reconciles with their spouse.

  • Even after the other spouse responds, the divorce is not final. There could be many preliminary hearings, custody arrangements and financial settlements worked out in the early stages of the divorce. These may be filed but these are not the official divorce record.

  • A temporary agreement may be entered while the final divorce is worked out among the spouses. This may seem like a final divorce record because details such as spousal support, child support and custody are ordered. Many parents with children settle on temporary agreements for the sake of the children.

  • Many spouses agree to legal separations while they are considering divorce. These separations will allow the parties to determine if they can reconcile or if they need to proceed. Many times couples go through counseling during this time. Again, this is part of the divorce record but not the final agreement.

  • The final divorce record is filed after the parties have reached an agreement and it is signed by a judge. If the divorced is friendly, there may be no hearings or temporary agreements before the divorce is final. In some states, non contested divorces can be granted within 30 to 90 days. Once the divorce is granted, the attorneys and the clerks still have to file the final vital record and it may not be available for a few weeks.

If you don’t want to be confused by dates of temporary settlements or other filings, you can find out if a divorce record is complete by searching an online company that offers vital records searches. These companies only list a divorce record that is final. You don’t have to waste your time searching through the courthouse to find out if it is ready. In most cases, once it is listed in an online records search company, it is final.

Many people think they have to be an Internet wizard or pay a lot of money to use an online records search company to find a divorce record. In fact, the records search is simple. Just put in the name and other information of the person you are looking for and you will be directed to a screen that shows what is available. And the searches are not expensive. A divorce record search can cost as little as $5 for one search or you can buy a package and search many vital records.


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