How to search for a divorce by case number. States might differ. Fees might apply. Divorces that occurred long ago might be more difficult to find.
Divorce records can be required for a number of reasons, including remarriage, applying for a passport, changing one's name or for genealogical research. In some cases, the correct spelling of the names of the parties is not known by the person requesting the documents, or the names were input incorrectly into the computer record system. In that case, if the case number is known, you can search in person for the records with the case number, or, in many cases, online.
Going to the County Clerk's Office
Locate the official county clerk website for the county where the divorce was filed. Be sure you are on the official website, as many companies will offer to find divorce records for a fee, but as a rule, the county clerk will allow you to search for free. You might be required to pay for a copy of any court record, including the decree. Not all states, however, provide a copy of the decree to someone who was not a party to the divorce.
Inputting the Case Number
Input the case number that you have. If there is a divorce record matching that case number, it will appear on the website. In most cases, the information you retrieve will only be identifying information, such as the name of the parties and date of the decree or disposition of the case. If you want a copy of the decree, you may need to pay a fee and/or appear in person. If the divorce occurred years ago, the records would no longer be available from the county but would most likely be archived with the state.
Appearing in Person
Appear in person at the clerk's office in the event the website does not allow you to search online or if a personal appearance is required to secure copies. Explain that you are searching for a divorce record and provide the case number.