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Marriage and Divorce Records

The gulf between marriage and divorce could not be greater or more significant. Likewise, marriage and divorce records offer distinct legal definitions and information. Divorce records, with which we are concerned with here at, provide citizens or corporate entities detailed information concerning both former spouses, their respective addresses, the reason for the divorce, child custody rulings, and the names of both sets of lawyers and the judge presiding over the divorce proceedings.

Divorce records can also contain such sensitive information as the existence of restraining orders, counseling appointments, and the division of the former couples property. The exact reason for the divorce is also codified in the records, which could make the reason for the divorce a matter of public scrutiny. This could be embarrassing, but as a decree of divorce is a governmental record, it is subject to the Freedom of Information Act and is thus subject to the public domain.

Each state or county will make these records accessible in a unique way. Some states fold divorce records into public records, other states have the records filed on the county level. Almost all 50 states have some kind of electronic database that makes finding or requesting a specific divorce record much easier. Some states require you to submit a request to view a divorce record in writing. Once verified, the requested divorce records could take anywhere from 2 to 10 days to arrive in the mail. In some cases this may require a fee.

Though it is a recent phenomenon, many people are scouring divorce records in search of genealogical information. The electronic databases, as we know it, is approximately fifty year old. Relatives have had to resort to finding death certificates and divorce records in order to trace long-lost relatives or loved ones.  

Legal Differences Between Marriage and Divorce Records

Though it may seem obvious, many people are confused as to the differences between marriage and divorce records. Divorce Records are important public records that fall under the jurisdiction of the state or respective county. They are subject to public scrutiny and can be accessed, often for a fee. In contrast to marriage records, divorce records can be used to verify a background check or employment application.

Marriage records, on the other hand, are seldom scrutinized. Though they must be presented to obtain passports, social security numbers, and in some cases to file joint taxes, seldom will a marriage record be used to verify someone?s identity. Marriage records are rarely requested, expect by the couple in question, and usually to replace a lost or misplaced marriage license. All duplicate marriage records or licenses must be paid for electronically or in person. Most duplicates cost between $15 and $30 and can be requested online, by mail, or in person.

At, we are committed to helping you find all the divorce records you need. Our search capabilities are all free of charge, but in cases requiring physical copies be accessed or mailed, you may have to pay a nominal fee to the state or county. We can help you filter your search by name, address, date of divorce, location of divorce, and even by the state or county case number.