If you’ve gotten a divorce, you may need to show a record of that fact at some point in your life, but you may find yourself lacking the proper paperwork. It’s not always obvious where you should get a divorce record from. Below we detail the ways to view and receive divorce records.
Accessing Your Divorce Record: Where Do You Go?
Divorce records are often kept in a number of locations, including a court clerk’s office as well as your state’s department of records.
It can be as easy as heading on down to the civil court clerk’s office and picking up your record – available in both electronic and hard copy forms. According to Clinch Long Woodbridge, a divorce laywer in Sydney, depending on which state you filed for divorce in, the required time period to keep a decree on dossier is between seven and ten years. This is
If for some reason the court clerk doesn’t have your divorce on file, get in touch with vital statistics or the state department of records. Also keep mind that if you were not involved directly with the divorce, you will not be able to access those records without signed and authenticated permission from one of the parties.
Another avenue is speaking to the attorney who represented your case. As authorized by state laws, attorneys must store closed files for up to a decade. If you attorney doesn’t have these records, talk to you ex-spouse’s attorney.
If all else fails, fetch your divorce decree online by searching databases. You may have to pay a small fee but it’s worth it if you need your file. If in doubt as to how to go about doing this, this YouTube tutorial explains each step of the process.
A Matter of Public Record
Divorce can be a particularly taxing event. You’re spending large sums of money and countless hours in lawyers’ offices and in court fighting over what party gets custody of the children, shared property, etc. And as much as you’d like to keep this frustrating aspect of your life confidential, divorce proceedings – contingent on the jurisdiction where they took place – can be considered by law to be public records.
Now, if you truly wish to keep prying eyes from accessing sensitive information regarding your divorce, according to DMV.org, you can apply to have the record sealed.
When deliberating whether or not to expunge a divorce record so that it is no longer available to the public, a judge will consider certain factors, such as the identities of children and domestic violence.
Why Are Divorce Records Kept on File?
Let’s say, for sake of an argument, you want to legally change your name or you’ve met the man or woman of your dreams after going through that messy divorce and plan on remarrying. In both of these cases, you will need to have a record of your divorce. So, in this instance, it’s probably not a bad thing that it is public record.
Ways to Find Out If a Divorce Has Been Filed
The WikiHow article How to Find Out if a Divorce Has Been Filed explains in a simple, step-by-step format the process of learning if your spouse has truly filed for divorce.
Perhaps your spouse has threatened to divorce you. To clear up a common misconception, nobody can secretly divorce another person. Only a judge can rule that a marriage contract is truly dissolved.
As divorce proceedings are public knowledge (unless sealed), you can conduct an online search or check with your local courthouse. If you are sure that your spouse has hired an attorney to represent him or her, contact the attorney. If indeed your spouse has filed for divorce without informing you first, you will have to hire your own attorney.
If none of these options work for you, another possibility is checking with neighboring counties or states, or even local law enforcement agencies. In any case, a divorce cannot exist without a record of it, so you are sure to find it with a little bit of searching.