How to Find Legal Separation Records

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Obtaining a legal separation record from a recent judgement or older family law case is made easy with a straightforward process. From the persons qualified to obtain the records to the petition process, you can find old and recent legal separation records within hours. Because only the persons named within the legal separation can petition the court, you or an attorney must take action on your behalf to obtain the records.

Contact the county clerk. You'll need to contact the court in the county of residence and petition the clerk for a copy of the original records including the filing date, terms of the separation and the signature of the judge. By law, a petition for legal separation must be filed in the district court where the couple resides.

Complete the appropriate form. Each state differs; for example, in California, you must complete a Notice of Entry of Judgment (form FL-170).

Show proof of identity and pay the associated fees once you are directed to the records room at the district court. Fees vary by state and can range from $2 (such as in Washington D.C.) to $45 (such as in New York). These fees are estimates based on the 2009 fee schedule and are subject to change.

Have the legal separation record notarized by the county clerk's office. Pay the fee for the service and maintain a second copy for your records.


  • An attorney is not required to obtain legal separation records.

About the Author

Charlie Gaston has written numerous instructional articles on topics ranging from business to communications and estate planning. Gaston holds a bachelor's degree in international business and a master's degree in communications. She is fluent in Spanish and has extensive travel experience.