A person may need to search the public divorce records for all sorts of reasons. Those who have recently got divorced may need the certificate to change their name on their ID, driver’s license, bank accounts and so on. There are also people who want to ensure that their future spouse isn’t actually still married. No matter why you need to check the records, you should learn the major facts about them before you begin.
The Amount of Information Contained
The divorce certificates, which are the main divorce documents kept on record, are quite detailed. They contain the names of both spouses, the location where they were married and the location where they were divorced. The date of the divorce is mentioned and so is the reason for it. The number of children that the couple has, if any, is also usually included.
It is worth pointing out that the divorce records usually contain judgements issued by the court. They are on matters such as property division, child custody and spousal support. It is practically impossible for these documents to contain any sensitive personal information.
Public vs. Sealed Divorce Records
All vital records, including ones of divorce cases, are public, meaning any person can access them after confirming their identity. However, it is possible for the spouses who are getting divorced to request the sealing of their case. Whether this will happen or not is a matter of a judge’s ruling. Put the other way round, the sealing is not automatic. When having to decide whether to seal a divorce hearing and the records of it, judges typically take into account if sensitive information is involved and whether one or more of the people involved in the case, be it the children and/or one of the spouses, requires protection.
Where and How Long They Are Kept
Divorce records are kept by the courts where they take place. However, older ones may have been moved to the county clerk’s office or another administrative body. This often happens due to changes in regulation. You can readily find information on where these records are kept in your local area by checking the website of the local governing body. You can reach them directly, if you cannot find the details which you are looking for on the web. In general, records are kept for many decades, but older ones are moved to archival databases which may belong to different institutions.
You are now better prepared to search divorce records. Get started right away.