LegalZoom recommends searching for and finding a record of the divorce decree to find out if a divorce has been granted. Finding this decree may require some degree of investigation because a former spouse who filed for divorce individually may have filed papers in another court jurisdiction. The search can start in the county and state where the married couple lived together.
A good way to trace divorce proceedings is to contact local newspapers in the area where the couple last resided. LegalZoom notes that uncontested divorces are often made public by filing legal notices in newspapers. The newspaper's legal notice department may have a record of such a listing placed by the former partner. To find out, a search of newspaper records may turn up a notice with the name of both spouses.
After the correct courthouse has been located, they can be contacted about a possible divorce petition. LegalZoom advises that the court can look up any legal documents filed in a divorce proceeding. A requester can ask the court clerk search through files on their behalf to find such records. If there is a formal divorce decree on file, this is indisputable evidence of a divorce.
If a spouse moved away and filed elsewhere, personal information including a spouse's name, social security number and date of birth can be used to keep searching in various databases, according to About.com.