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How do I Get Copies of Divorce Records in San Diego?

by Etch Tabor

If you live in San Diego and wish to request records of a divorce, you will need to contact the Superior Court in San Diego County. However, before you make a records request, you need to obtain certain case information so that staff members can locate the proper file. You can often obtain this information online. Your request for copies of records must be made either in person or by mail.

Obtaining Information Required for a Divorce Records Request

Visit the Superior Court of San Diego County's website (see Resource 1). Click on "Accessing Court Records," and then click on "Locate File."

Click on the link for family court cases. Click on the "online case search" link if the divorce you wish to search for occurred in 1974 or later. Otherwise, you will have to visit the court location where the case was originally heard.

Click on the "online case search" link again. Select whether to search by party name, case number or district attorney case number. If you do not have any of these pieces of information, you will have to visit the court location where the divorce took place and request a staffer search the records for you based on information you do have.

Enter as much information about the divorce case as possible, including the case location, the names of the parties involved, the year the case was filed and the year the case was resolved. Click "Submit."

Write down the divorce's case number and court location.

Requesting Divorce Records in Person

Visit the court where the case was filed and speak with a court staff member.

Provide the staff member with the case number and court location you pulled from the online database.

Pay the staffer 50 cents per page you wish to have copied. The court accepts cash, credit card, checks and money orders.

Requesting Divorce Records by Mail

Write a letter to court where the case was filed. Include the case number, the names of the parties and the names of the documents you want copies of in the letter.

Include a self-addressed stamped envelope with your letter to the court.

Include payment for the documents. If you do not know how much it will cost to make a request, write on the memo line of the check that payment is "Not to exceed $" and provide an estimate for how much you think the search will cost. As of August 2010, if a search takes more than 10 minutes, it will cost you an additional $15 on top of the fee of 50 cents per page requested.

Tip

  • If the divorce occurred prior to 1974, you will have to go to Central Records in the Central Division to obtain case information. There you can manually search court indexes stored in large, hardbound books.

About the Author

For three years, Etch Tabor worked as the technology and online editor at "InsideCounsel" magazine, a national publication for in-house counsel. He currently is a full-time freelance writer, specializing in legal, technology and comedy writing. He graduated in 2004 from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a degree in journalism.

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