How to Get a Copy of a Dissolution of Marriage

by Melissa Lowery

A dissolution of marriage, commonly referred to as a divorce, completely ends a marital union. After the legal divorce process concludes, a final decree is issued to both spouses. This decree dissolves the marriage and is needed to for separate maintenance such as name changes, child custody and property division. Only one copy of the divorce decree is given to each spouse after the finalization ruling. If these documents are lost, only the former spouses can obtain additional copies.

Visit the county's court house in which the marriage dissolution took place. Both spouses do not need to be present to request the information.

Complete the paperwork requesting a copy of the final divorce decree. You will need the full names and addresses of both spouses at the time of the divorce as well as the wife's maiden name and the location and date of the marriage. The reason you are requesting the information and the divorce case number may be required. Do not sign the form yet, as some state courts require your signature in the presence of the court clerk.

Return the paperwork, along with your picture ID, to the court clerk. Sign the forms with your full legal name. He will make a copy of your ID to attach to the form.

Pay the applicable fees for a copy of the dissolution of marriage decree. This will vary state to state. The court clerk will provide the time your copy will be available. Some county courts can provide the copies immediately while other will mail the forms to you. This varies upon location.

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  • You can also contact the issuing state's vital records office. Simply print out the request forms or write your request with the above listed information, attach a copy of your ID and mail to the address listed. Be sure to include all applicable fees and a self-addressed, stamped envelope.


  • If contacting vital records, only the state in which the divorce took place can provide copies of the dissolution of marriage decree.

About the Author

Melissa Lowery began her writing career in 1999 as a field reporter for the "Six Mile Post." Since 2000 Lowery has contributed to many different websites and print publications. She holds both a mastery makeup artistry and a cosmetology diploma, with more than six years experience in these fields.

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