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Exploring Your Options
As with most tasks, the challenge of where to find divorce records can either be simple or complicated, quick or time-consuming – depending on how you approach it. Many sensible thinkers like to first start considering the different options available before making a plan on how to tackle any given project. In the case of tracking down a certain divorce history piece of information, such as to obtain a copy of the document, there are two main options: using online or offline sources.
Locating A Divorce Record Offline
Official offline sources for finding divorce history information include state vital statistics or health department offices as well as county courts. The same statewide sources typically also issue public marriage records. Where to find divorce records exactly varies depending on the state. How old the records are will also depend on each state's record organization system.
For example, in Alaska, divorce files for the period from August, 1936 to the present are available from the state Department of Public Health, while in New York City, a dissolution of marriage record that is dated 1996 to the present will be issued from the City Clerk's office. The type of divorce information you will need or have access to will also depend greatly on the state in which the dissolution of marriage was granted.
For instance, in Minnesota, decrees are the type of divorce documents mainly distributed by the courts. A decree is usually several pages long and outlines the court's ruling that relates to property division, child custody arrangements and how debt repayment will be split between the divorced couple. Since offline sources of where to find decree records are government related, the process of obtaining a record is often time consuming.
Locating A Divorce Record Online
Using online vital records service companies to expedite an official record on dispute matters is extremely popular today due to the often quick processing time as well as the 24 hour / 7 day convenience of being able to request a record instantly. This online method of obtaining divorce records requires a need to go to the state office or wait several weeks to have the desired information processed and sent through snail mail.
It is crucial to make sure to use a professional, authorized public record retrieval service although when conducting your search on dispute. Look for an informative website and do not be fooled with a promise that everything will be "free" as United States' law holds that each state must charge a small fee for the request of a copy of such public records. Each state is allowed to choose the amount of the fee, but it is always nominal and typically under $ 20 for any type of divorce document copy. Furthermore, the same federal law specifics that the fee applies to the search of all vital records, whether or not the record is found.
Most divorce records are found if the names on search requests are spelled correctly. Remember to mention any aliases or maiden names when doing a search for a divorce record, or public marriage records. You should also include the date and county, if known. Even if these are not known, records of divorce with correct names are still likely to be located if that particular dissolution of marriage occurred in the state.