How to Find Divorce Records On and Offline
For most people, a divorce is one of the most traumatic and horrible experiences they will ever go through, so it isn't really a surprise that so many people misplace or lose their divorce records. What makes divorce records so important is that should you or your partner ever want to get married for a subsequent time, they will need an official copy of the divorce record to prove that they are not already married. Divorce records can also be requested by children or by subsequent generations to have on file or to mark a new branch in the family tree. Most divorce record requests these days use the Internet to help speed up the process, but let's take a look at the old fashioned way to request a divorce record first.
When it comes to requesting a divorce record, you can call either the state in which the divorce was finalized or the county vital records office. Depending on the state, there are often divorce records on file with both the county and state office, although if you are requesting a much older divorce record, you will likely have to contact the county directly. Like all vital records requests, you may have to prove that you are a family member or that your request is necessary if you aren't related. Some states have what is known as an open records law that allows anyone to request any vital record. Your record request will likely require a fee that can be paid either by check, credit card or even money order. You may also want to ask what the current processing time is as some record departments can be backlogged. If you need the divorce record because you are getting remarried and your wedding day is only in a few weeks, rush processing is sometimes available, but it can cost quite a bit.
What the Internet and websites like RecordsProject.com have done is they take the guesswork out of finding your divorce records. Instead of having to call a pay service like 411 to find out the vital records office phone number that you need, you can simply find the contact information there. You can also find specific instructions about the state or county you are trying to contact so that you know what to expect before you start. The Internet has really helped to streamline the entire vital records request process and take a lot of the fear out of it, as well.