Why would anyone want to access the divorce records? Actually for a lot of reasons. You may have to get the report to prove that you are legally separated to change your name, you may have to produce the decree to get your marriage license, and you may want the record to show your would-be husband/wife that you are ready to marry again. Or you may want to check the record of your would-be yourself if you know that the person was married before just to be sure. After all, it is best to play it safe. You cannot be legally married to someone who is already married and is not yet divorced.
Divorce records are also useful for genealogy research. There might be an ex-spouse of a family member who left the family long ago and thereafter faded from memory. A divorce record actually helps to determine the exact name of the ex-spouse and the location of the county where the divorce was granted.
Yes you are, because the record is in the public domain. But there are some restrictions though. Those who can access the record are immediate family members like parents, children, grandparents or a would-be spouse.
Virginia divorce records are kept at the office of the Vital Records at the Dept. of Health. Divorce records are available from 1918 till now. All such divorce records remain private in Virginia for fifty years, and then they are made public records.
You need to fill out an application form. There, you need to provide details like – the name of wife and husband, place and date of divorce, your contact data, your relationship with the divorced person and your objective for requesting the record. Please put your signature before sending it over to the address given below along with $12.00 either by check or money order.
P.O. Box 1000
Phone: (804) 662-6200
The state and the county offices according to the Freedom of Information Act (FoIA) are required to preserve the vital records including divorce records. And the state is legally bound to share it with you if you qualify.
Prior to making an application for the Virginia divorce record, it is imperative that you realize that you cannot get all the information about the divorce. For instance, you will never know the grounds for divorce, how the court decided to distribute the asset and liabilities, issues relating to child custody and visitation rights, alimony and others. However, you can get a confirmation on whether the divorce was granted or not, and the date if it was granted. All this information is protected by the state to uphold the privacy of the individual in question. You also won't get a certified copy of the divorce decree, unless it is your own.
To request a Virginia divorce record, follow the instructions below:
First, download the Application for Vital Record form from the Dept. of Health website.
Fill out the divorce section of the form, including the names of the husband and wife, date and place of divorce, your contact information, and your relationship to the parties on the divorce document.
Submit your completed form to the below address, or stop by in person. Include a check or money order for $12.
Send your form to:
Virginia Division of Vital Records
PO Box 1000
Richmond, VA 23218-1000
Where to Find Virginia Divorce Records
Divorce records for the state of Virginia are maintained at the Vital Records office with the Department of Health. Divorce records from 1918 to the present are available. All divorce records are kept private for 50 years, after which they become public record.
Vital Records Request Turnaround Time
The Office of Vital Records office maintains over 7 million records in its archives. They receive almost 40,000 vital records requests each month. Expect a turnaround time of about 1 to 4 weeks.
Who May Obtain a Virginia Divorce Record?
Only the persons listed on the divorce document or their immediate family, including parents, children, siblings, grandparents, or current spouse, may place a request for a divorce document. Proper photo ID is required with any request.