How To Find Divorce Records
Discovering how to find divorce records introduces the consumer to the clerk and recorder system. As a general rule of thumb, any search for documents related to dissolutions of marriage are referred to as vital records, which puts them into the same databases as birth-, death- and marriage certificates.
An initial foray into how to find divorce records is simple enough:
- Determine in which state the divorce action took place. Only the court that adjudicated the proceedings actually keeps these records. Thus, it is common for those learning how to find divorce records to contact court clerks in different states.
- Locate the vital records clerk. The Centers for Disease Control maintain a very helpful vital records link page that offers access to each state’s clerk and recorder, who is in charge of maintaining these documents.
- Request a verification of divorce. On the roadmap to finding out how to find divorce records, this is inevitably the easiest stop. The clerk or recorder can issue verification--at a cost that varies by jurisdiction--of divorce. In some cases this is also called a record of divorce. It only states the names of the parties, county in which the divorce took place, the case number and the date that the divorce was finalized.
Getting more information requires a foray into the county and district court system. Since the divorce verification offers information on the court that adjudicated the dissolution, the clerk of court for that jurisdiction is now the starting point of the new search. Usually it takes little more than a fee for copying the records to receive the data.