Divorce records definition

Divorce records are public records which contain data on family members, their marital history, their property. residences, and dates of other important events such as the birth of a child.

How to find divorce records

Divorce records are public records and theoretically, anyone who’d like to see these records can view them. They can be obtained by contacting the clerk of the court.

The only exception is if the court has sealed some or all of the divorce proceedings. This can occur for various reasons, for instance, to protect the name of domestic violence victims or to protect sensitive information including financial data. The State of New York is the only state that automatically seals all divorce records for 100 years.

In a few areas in the U.S. divorces have been under the jurisdiction of a chancery, common pleas, domestic, probate, superior, or supreme judicial court. Before the 20th century, divorces were uncommon and in some places they were illegal.

Read more: How to find public vital records?

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