Typically, divorce records are public matters. In a majority of states, this comprises all divorce filings. This means that divorce papers unless the court approves to conceal divorce records under seal become matters of public information.
Divorce records are filed with the appropriate county or state courthouse. For example, in Texas, divorce records are filed with the Record Clerk of Record in the county where the divorce was granted. The record then becomes public if the plaintiff files an action to keep the record secret or if the judge rules to suppress the complaint. There are instances, however, when divorce records cannot be released because of privacy reasons. In most cases, church courts and state courts retain these documents for up to three years.
Typically divorce recordsare sealed either by the court on its own order or by the divorcing parties. Divorce lawyers typically file the petition with the courts requesting that the divorce is to be declared void. A court date is required for filing such a petition. Once the divorce decree has been filed in the proper court, the parties are free to make use of the seal provided by the court or make any modifications to the document as they wish. It is always a good idea to obtain an attorney’s assistance when making such a request to the court.
The courts in most states allow the sealing of divorce records by either party to a divorce proceeding. If the petition for seal is granted by either the plaintiff or the defendant, the plaintiff’s or defendant’s name shall be printed on the certificate of divorce. The certificate of divorce is not allowed to be changed except by a court order after it has been filed in the proper court. Once the divorce decree has been filed, the parties are free to make any changes that they wish prior to the final certification.
If you wish to locate the necessary divorce records in your state, there are various ways to go about this task. You can begin with your local family courthouse. Generally you will have to attend a short meeting with a family law attorney who will ask you certain questions pertaining to your divorce record and the divorce proceedings. Your attorney may also ask you to fill out an application for a duplicate of your divorce record which is often free and can be faxed or mailed to you.
If you live in a state where marriage is not allowed by law, you still have the right to file divorce records. Many courts have post-its stating that they do not accept unsealed divorce records. It is recommended that you file a lawsuit to get a copy of your divorce records since this process usually takes longer than the standard procedure. A judge may require you to appear personally to show proof of your identity and you will generally have to pay a nominal filing fee. There are also some courts that will allow you to file divorce records online through their website.
If you have moved recently, you should contact the local county clerk to verify your date of birth and social security number. If you are moving in town, you should visit the clerk’s office and provide your driver’s license or any other necessary documents. The county clerk should give you a copy of the divorce decree and other relevant records at the new address. You can also obtain your divorce records through the courts.
In cases when a person remarries, they can still obtain their divorce records. However, this will depend on the state laws as well as if the union was performed in the state of New York. If you wish to search for New York State Vital Records, you should contact the state offices directly. Usually these offices do not perform an electronic search. You may need to fill out an application and then wait up to 6 months for the results. This waiting time may affect your ability to find and obtain other records such as birth and death certificates.