How To Get a Copy of Divorce Papers

Divorce is the official legal termination or dissolution of a marital union. It forfeits all your duties and responsibilities as a couple and frees you and your ex-partner from the bonds of matrimony.

All terms, settlements, or agreements you have made in a divorce are documented in a divorce decree – more commonly known as divorce papers. A divorce decree contains the final formal order of the court that grants you and/or your ex-partner the divorce you filed for. The final divorce decree is filed in the vital records office of the courthouse where your divorce proceedings took place. Usually, a copy of your final divorce decree is sent by your lawyer or by the court clerk. However, if you have failed to receive a copy of your divorce papers or if you would like to have an extra copy on hand, you can follow these simple steps so you can acquire a copy of the document.

  • You may write a letter of request to the Vital Records Department of the state or county where the divorce proceedings took place. In your letter, briefly state the reason or purpose for requesting a copy of the document. Make sure to include all pertinent details in your request such as the full names of both parties involved in the divorce, the wife’s maiden name, the court case number, the date of the divorce, and the city and state where the divorce was granted.
  • If you are making the request in behalf of either party involved in the divorce, explain your relationship to the parties and the purpose for which you are requesting a copy of their divorce papers. Include proofs of identification such as your driver’s license number or a photocopy of your passport in the letter that you will send. Also, remember to note whether you need a certified or non-certified copy of the divorce papers.
  • If you opt to personally process the request for divorce papers, visit the courthouse or the Vital Records Department of the state or county where the divorce proceedings took place, present the court case number, fill out and submit the written request form at the county courthouse, and wait for the request to be processed and released. You may be asked for any proof of identification so be ready to present your driver’s license or any state-issued identification with your picture.
  • Be ready to pay a minimal fee for copies of your divorce papers, especially for certified copies.
  • You may also process your request for your divorce papers online through VitalChek. Simply visit the website, click on the Divorce Record tab, choose the state or county where your divorce was finalized, and simply follow the step-by-step procedure on the website to process your request.
  • Websites may charge you a minimal fee to facilitate the processing and sending of your requested documents.

Whatever documents you may be requesting, it is always best to make sure that you include all important details and that all details are accurate and updated, especially for current addresses. Also, sending a self-addressed stamped envelope is always a great idea as it ensures the faster mailing/delivery of the documents you requested.


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