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How to Obtain a Copy of a Divorce Certificate

by C.K. Wren

You might need to obtain a copy of a divorce certificate for several reasons. Some of these include genealogy, the need to show proof of child support or to verify that a previous marriage has been legally dissolved before embarking on a new one. After a divorce is final, the couple involved should receive certified copies from either their attorney or the court system. However, should that copy go astray, there are several other ways to acquire a certified copy.

In Person

Appear in person at the vital records office in the county where the divorce was filed. You can find the vital records office for your state in the reference below.

Fill out the application and submit the required information for your particular state. This may include; date of the divorce, names of those involved, current name and address, reason for needing the document as well as your relationship to the parties involved. Come prepared with state or federally issued identification, such as your drivers license.

Pay the assessed document preparation fee required by your particular state. Contact the office beforehand to verify what types of payments are acceptable.

Apply Online

Access vitalchek.com to order a copy of your divorce certificate. Although there are other websites that offer express certificate services, only VitalChek is government-authorized by all 50 states to access their vital records.

Choose your state and the city where the divorce was granted and fill out the required information.

Pay the assessed document and shipping fees as well as the expedite fee, if necessary. All major credit and debit cards are accepted.

Apply By Mail

Access the website vitalrec.com and click on your state and county to get a listing of the vital records office nearest to you.

Write a letter that includes the names of those listed on the divorce certificate and your relationship to them, the date of the divorce and the county in which it was filed and the reason you need the document. Include your current contact information and sign the letter in ink. Some counties may require a photocopy of your identification as well.

Include a check or money order (no cash) for the assessed document fee and send the letter and money certified mail so you know it arrived. Allow two to four weeks for processing.

About the Author

C.K. Wren graduated in 2001 from Utah State University with dual degrees in history and technical writing. She has written extensively for Demand Studios as well as several magazine publications.

Photo Credits

  • signing a contract image by William Berry from Fotolia.com