Virtually all countries have databases of vital records which are kept for statistical and legal purposes. These include birth, death, marriage and divorce records. The latter are the most recently introduced since divorce was not common before the start of the twentieth century. Find out what things the records of divorce have in common with their counterparts and what differentiates them.
Availability and Accessibility
Since divorce has become common practice more recently, you will most certainly not find divorce records for people who lived two hundred years ago, for example. On the other hand, you have good chances of finding records of birth, death and marriage, even though the task may be somewhat challenging. Still, this does not mean that the information which you can find in the documents for divorce is not valuable. It can help you to clarify things about the history of your family. It can also help you to narrow down your search. You may actually discover unknown facts.
Just like all vital records, the ones for divorce are available to the general public. Any member of the public can find out if a particular person has got divorced. Although some spouses take legal action to keep the details of their divorce private, the event is still publically acknowledged. Generally, these records along with the ones for death and marriage are the most easily accessible. Birth records may be harder to access due to legal limitations designed to protect children in cases such as adoption.
Level of Detail
It is interesting to note that divorce records can provide more detailed information compared to the other types of vital records. They have the date of marriage as well as the date of divorce. In many cases, they contain the birth dates and addresses as well as the names of the spouses that are splitting up. Often, the names and birth dates of any children who were under the age of 18 at the time of the divorce are included as well.
All of these details are extremely valuable for genealogical research. They help for the detailing of the branches of the family tree. You can discover uncles and aunts that you have never even supposed existed. You can also track any family member individually. The information which you find in the records of divorce can be used for searching all other vital records more effectively.
You should definitely use all divorce records which are relevant to the history of your family along with other valuable vital records.