Iowa started maintaining records of divorces that took place in the state from the 19th century. Iowa started maintaining the divorce records since 1906. The state is quite conservative and considered divorce to be illegal, and so the records were not maintained before that. However, today the state is legally bound to maintain records of all divorces as this falls under the Vital Records.
You are almost certain to find the Iowa divorce records you want. It is your legal right to ask for the record, and the state authorities are bound to share the information with you. Iowa is one state that has maintained the records very efficiently.
All records are maintained at the county level; the counties are networked with the state office at Des Montes. In most states, the authorities prefer that the person wanting to access the record should collect it directly from the counties. However in Iowa, the rule is quite the opposite. Here, you will have to collect all your vital records, including divorce records, from the state office. This is naturally good news for all those who do not know the county from where the divorce was granted. There is no need to visit the county though. You should also know that the counties cannot provide a certified copy. They can only offer brief information.
Iowa has standardized it charges to $15.00 for all searches, as well as the certified copy that you may need. This fee can be paid either by a personal check or money order, and it is payable to the Department of Public Health in Iowa.
If you wish to get a certified copy of a divorce record from the county that granted the divorce, you must either offer a valid reason for your interest in the record, or you should be sharing a lineal relationship with the person concerned. For instance, you could be a parent, a grandparent, child, or a sibling. The record cannot be given to a legal representative, a private detective or someone like this.
Application for accessing the record must be made in writing, and you should clearly state the purpose of wanting to access the record. You should also attach the money order or check along with the application. You need to send your application to the following address:
Iowa Department of Public Health,
Bureau of Vital Records,
Lucas Office Building 1st Floor,
321 East 12th Street,
Des Moines, IA 50319-0075
Remember to include all the necessary and relevant information in your application. If you do not know the exact date of divorce, you need to include an estimated span. Try to keep the span as small as possible so as to narrow down the search.
You may also apply over the telephone (Phone Number: 515-281-4944). Here, you must pay an additional charge of $5.50 as the processing fee. As the call volume is huge, you might be kept on hold for about 20 minutes.
To retrieve certified Iowa divorce decrees, follow the instructions below:
First, you must determine the district where the divorce record is kept. You can contact the Iowa Bureau of Vital Records at the address below to obtain a statistical record of the divorce and locate the district.
Contact the District Court directly to inquire about their specific procedure and fees for obtaining a certified copy of a divorce decree.
Additional details can be obtained from the following department:
Iowa Department of Public Health
Bureau of Vital Records
Lucas State Office Building
321 East 12th Street
Des Moines, IA 50319-0075
Requesting Copies of Iowa Divorce Records
Divorce records in Iowa start with a filing with the Clerk of the Court in the county where the Petitioner resides. When the divorce is finalized, the full record is maintained at the district level for numerous counties with the Clerk of the District Court. All certified copies may only be requested from and obtained directly from the District Court.
Are Iowa Divorce Records Available Through the Bureau of Vital Statistics?
The Iowa Department of Public Health Bureau of Vital Records does not maintain full divorce records. However, the Bureau of Vital Statistics does maintain a database of all state divorce events since 1906. You can request a brief statistical divorce record from the Vital Statistics office.
About Iowa District Courts
There are a total of eight Iowa District Courts within the state. Each district is comprised of five or more counties. Divorce records, when finalized, are stored and maintained at the office of the Clerk of the District Court.