Q:

How do you find free divorce records?

A:

Quick Answer

Free divorce records are found either online or by going to the clerk’s office for the court that granted the divorce. Viewing the records may be free; however, the court may charge a fee for providing copies of the records, according to the National Center for State Courts.

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Full Answer

The National Center for State Courts website provides a portal to the websites of all state courts providing online access to court records, including divorce records. For example, in Washington state, depending on when the divorce occurred, the records could be held by the Washington Department of Health, the Washington State Archives or the Washington Digital Archives, according to its website. There is no cost to view the records; however, there is a cost for copies, which varies depending on whether the copy is certified or noncertified.

Ancestry.com offers a free trial during which divorce records as well as many other vital records, such as birth and marriage records, can be obtained at no cost. Divorce records for the District of Columbia or some involving the military are found at the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration and may be viewed at no cost, but again, there is a charge for copies. The Centers for Disease Control maintains on its website a complete list of where to write for vital records, including divorce records, for all 50 states.

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