How to Access Divorce Records

By Louise Lawson

Divorce records, like many other forms of information, are matters of public record. They are kept on file in the county in which they were filed, and can normally be accessed quite easily. With a little bit of time and information, you can access most divorce records with no trouble at all.

Obtain information regarding the divorced parties. You will need to know the state and county in which the divorce was filed, and the names of the individuals on the paperwork. This information will be required to request the records, so have it handy.

Contact the court or county records office in the location that the divorce occurred. Some states keep records for the entire state, and the records can be accessed through the state's Vital Records department. Some states only keep the divorce records on file with the county, and you would need to contact the individual county's Vital Records section or county or district courthouse.

Fill out the required paperwork. The majority of states and counties require that the requesting individual fill out a records request. This request typically consists of the name, address and identification of the person and must be signed and dated when completed.

Turn the paperwork in with the required fees to the clerk, or return them in the mail if required. The fees are normally moderate and cover the cost of researching and printing the divorce documents.

Pick up the paperwork or wait for it to be returned to you in the mail. Most counties have a waiting period of at least two weeks before any paperwork might be available, so it may take a little time to receive your documents.

Review the divorce records to assure you have received the correct paperwork. Check that the names, dates and counties are correct and verify that the documents are what you requested.

Contact the court or records section you got the paperwork from if there are any mistakes in receiving your divorce records. They should be more than willing to assist you if there are any problems.

About the Author

Louise Lawson has been a published author and editor for more than 10 years. Lawson specializes in pet and food-related articles, utilizing her 15 years as a sous chef and as a dog breeder, handler and trainer to produce pieces for online and print publications.