Divorce is a very personal process. Unfortunately, records related to divorce are not, they are part of the public record like other civil proceedings. Some information about divorces are readily published in public sources like the legal section of the newspaper along with notices for sheriff sales, auctions, public hearings and bids and proposals.

There are free divorce public records that are available online and, of course, records for which you have to pay. Divorce public records you pay for will have more detail. There is a limit to what information you can get in divorce public records. For instance, some states have laws indicating that hearings relating to custody, adoption, termination of parental rights and domestic and child abuse are private. Access to records in those instances may be private. Juvenile records are usually sealed. Other records such as psychological evaluations, drug tests or HIV/AID status are also not available to the public. Courts charge a fee for copies of records that are available to the public. Check your jurisdiction for a fee schedule.

Divorce public records are accessed for a variety of reasons. Certified copies of records may be needed for name changes or for social security or tax reasons. Other reasons for accessing divorce records if you were not a party to the proceeding would be: genealogical searches or to verify background of a potential spouse or employee or other legal proceedings.

There is a large number of websites online advertising access to divorce public records. To determine which site will give you the best value for your money, check with the Better Business Bureau online. They could give you information about which sites appear to be the most reliable with the fewest consumer complaints.


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