Before we set out to understand how divorce records are useful, let us first understand what exactly is meant by divorce records. The name is self-explanatory. Divorce records are a database of information made available to the public by the Freedom to Information Act of 1966. Other similar records cover marriage, death, crime, and birth. Divorce records are the responsibility of the Vital Records Department or the Health Statistics Department.

Divorce records are useful as they serve as documentary evidence of a person’s marital record. You can furnish a divorce record and obtain a marriage license. Also, you may wish to look up an individual’s divorce record. Information obtained in a divorce record search includes the names of the petitioner, respondent, date of filing, state of filing, record of property, past addresses, etc. Public divorce records can be accessed via telephone, fax, and also requested in person. Remember accessing divorce records may be easy, but their application may be subject to certain restrictions.

Divorce records are easily available online. You can access them free or for a small fee. The difference in free and paid searches is the extent of information made available to you. Also for a fee you can obtain certified copies of divorce documents. Paid searches also throw open a more extensive database and the records are made available for easy download.

Depending upon how you wish to use the information you can chose either a paid or free divorce record search. If it is for official or legal purposes it is best that you arm yourself with comprehensive information. Remember that in order to obtain a certified copy of the divorce you have to be directly associated with the divorce.

The best offline source for obtaining divorce records is the county in which the divorce takes place. If the subject of the divorce record search has resided in more than one state it may become difficult to obtain a complete picture—this is because state databases are not linked. This leaves commercial databases available online. Search engines will bring up a multitude of results that you can choose from. The National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) is a good online source to search.


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