When you perform a background check or do research for building your family tree, you may have to check divorce records for obtaining information that you require. The good news is that any person can access these records as they are public. Even though the break-up of a family is a private affair, there are legal aspects of divorce which require the event to be made known to the general public. At the same time, you have to be aware of the limitations of the information which these records can provide.
What Is Included
The amount of information which is available to the public depends on the respective state laws. In most cases the divorce records contain the names of the former spouses and the date and place of the divorce. The legal grounds for the divorce can be stated as well. This should be more than sufficient for any type of check or research. You will find out how long the couple has been divorced for and the formal reason for the separation.
Typically, the public records do not contain information on the addresses of the former spouses. The details on how they have divided their assets and on child custody and visitation rights are also not available. Still, it may be possible to get these details from other sources if you really need them.
Accessing the Information
Any member of the public can access the public divorce records freely. You do not require special permission to get information which is public. You simply need to find the database which you need and to conduct the search. All state and local authorities keep such databases. Most sources of information have been digitalized and can be accessed directly online. There are also databases kept by different public organizations. The usually have records from several different sources.
If you are doing genealogical research, you may have to access very old records which are no longer available directly from the authorities. In this cases, the databases kept by libraries, churches and genealogical societies can be of great help to you. Many are directly available on the web. If this is not the case, you will have to visit place where the paper records are kept.
You can readily access divorce records when you need them. Read the information carefully and ensure that you will note it down correctly. If you require copies of publically available documents, you will have to send a special written request to the respective authority or organization which is responsible for keeping them. The earlier you do this, the better. You would want to ensure that you will not wait for long.