How to Search for a Divorce Decree

by Jeffery Keilholtz

Divorce is a difficult hurdle for many people to overcome. Depending on the complexity of the marriage, divorce decrees may require establishing divisions of properties, assets and child-visitation rights. Remarrying requires the presentation of a divorce decree or a divorce certificate. Searching for a divorce decree or certificate is a straightforward process accomplished through a county courthouse or the state Department or Health.

Go online. Visit the courthouse website for the county where the divorce was finalized. Click on the "Forms, FAQs and Resources" tab in the left hand column of the First Judicial District Court of Minnesota website, for example. Select the "Frequently Asked Questions" tab. Choose the "Divorce Decree" link and follow prefabricated instructions for obtaining the decree. Call the county courthouse to request a hard copy. Prepare to present two forms of identification --- driver's license and passport, for example --- to obtain a copy of a decree.

Visit the Department of Health website for your state. Search vital records listings including birth, death, marriage and divorce records. On the New York State Department of Health website, for example, click on the "Birth, Death, Marriage & Divorce Records" tab in the Site Contents list. Select "Divorce Certificates" from the vital records list. Follow prefabricated instructions for divorce decree and/or certificate.

Sign into the website Click on "Divorce Records" on the left hand side of the home page. Select the "Divorce Records Search / Divorce Background Check / USA Divorce records search Nationwide" link. Type in the person's full name and address into provided boxed. Click the "Next" tab. Choose the "Go" tab. Decide how you would like to receive your records --- electronically or hard copy. Click "Continue" to complete the search and obtain documents.

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Items you will need

  • Computer
  • Phone


  • Prepare to pay for any records you wish to obtain. Costs vary per state and/or through private search networks.

About the Author

Jeffery Keilholtz began writing in 2002. He has worked professionally in the humanities and social sciences and is an expert in dramatic arts and professional politics. Keilholtz is published in publications such as Raw Story and Z-Magazine, and also pens political commentary under a pseudonym, Maryann Mann. He holds a dual Associate of Arts in psychology and sociology from Frederick Community College.

Photo Credits

  • Pixland/Pixland/Getty Images