How To Find Divorce Records Online for Free (3 Easy Steps)

Background check repair icon.Written by Background Check Repair

Background Checks | May 29, 2024

Man holding a smart phone bends over looking at a wedding picture that has been split in two with a magnifying glass over his shoulder learning how to find divorce records online for free.

Free Divorce Records Search
Background check searches public records to find divorce decrees, divorce records, court records, names, addresses, and all dates.

Whether it’s part of a personal background check or for various legal reasons, many individuals need to know how to find divorce records online for free.

These days, with digital databases, learning how to find divorce records is extremely easy, and there are actually a number of ways to locate them.

In fact, by running a quick search, anyone can find them almost instantly with a tool. However, if an official copy is needed, simply follow these 3 simple steps to obtain a certified copy from the local courts.

How To Find Divorce Records Online for Free (How To Find Someone’s Divorce Records)

In most cases individuals will look to the government agency, such as the state courts, to obtain a divorce and other public records. Although this is a solid option for many situations, obtaining official documents usually involves paying a fee.

Besides obtaining divorce records through the government agency in charge of keeping the official records there is also the option to use a private background check, such as the one at the top of this page, to obtain the records for free.

PACER case locator screenshot with yellow arrows pointing to login entry boxes and locator features.
To obtain divorce records for free simply locate an online background check service that offers to find divorce records. Although many of these services will require a fee to perform the search, there are plenty out there that offer free single searches or brief free trials that can allow individuals to obtain the records for free. Just remember that like many free trials, the individual will be automatically charged at the end of the trial period.

If you want to know how to look up the exact date of your divorce online without charge, the court search trick can be used in some cases, but a 7-day free trial background check may be the best option.

This is especially useful for individuals who are wondering how to find divorce records online for personal reasons, rather than anything official. Keep in mind that if certified copies of divorce records are needed, individuals will likely need to go the more official route of contacting the vital records department using the list and steps below.

How To Find My Divorce Records (How To Find Your Divorce Records by State)

In most jurisdictions, divorce records are considered vital records and are usually filed alongside birth certificates, marriage records, and other similar records. Although the government agency in charge of managing these records varies by state, in most cases these records will be maintained by the State Department of Health and Human Services.

As mentioned, obtaining divorce records through the state agency in charge of keeping them is the only way to get an official certified copy. Luckily, the process to obtain official divorce records is relatively easy in most states and the process shouldn’t take very long at all. Generally, only basic information will be requested such as the names of the individuals, etc.

There is also a small fee associated with obtaining certified copies that will vary from state to state.

A detailed step-by-step process for how to find official divorce records is outlined further down.

How To Find Public Divorce Records (All 50 States)Where To Find Divorce Records
Alabama (AL)Vital Records | Alabama Department of Public Health
Alaska (AK)Alaska Department of Health
Arizona (AZ)Arizona State Library, Archives and Public Records
Arkansas (AR)Arkansas Department of Health
California (CA)California Department of Public Health – Vital Records
Colorado (CO)Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment
Connecticut (CT)Connecticut Judicial Branch – Public Records Online
Delaware (DE)Delaware Courts Judicial Branch
Florida (FL)Florida Department of Health – Divorce
Georgia (GA)Georgia Department of Public Health – Request Vital Records
Hawaii (HI)Hawaii State Judiciary – Divorce
Idaho (ID)Idaho Department of Health and Welfare – Marriage and Divorce Records
Illinois (IL)Illinois Department of Public Health – Dissolution of Marriage Records
Indiana (IN)Indiana Judicial Branch Public Records
Iowa (IA)Iowa Department of Public Health – Vital Records
Kansas (KS)Kansas Department of Health and Environment
Kentucky (KY)Kentucky Cabinet For Health and Family Services – Vital Statistics Branch
Louisiana (LA)Louisiana State Online Services
Maine (ME)Maine Division of Public Health Systems – Order Records
Massachusetts (MA)Massachusetts Civil and Family Issues – Divorce Records
Maryland (MD)Maryland State Archives – Divorce Records
Michigan (MI)State of Michigan Vital Records Requests
Minnesota (MN)Minnesota Department of Health – Marriage Certificates and Divorce Decrees
Mississippi (MS)Mississippi Department of Health – Divorce Records
Missouri (MO)Missouri Home and Family – Divorce Records
Montana (MN)Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services – Contacts
Nebraska (NE)Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services
Nevada (NV)Nevada Department of Health and Human Services – Division of Public and Behavioral Health
New Hampshire (NH)New Hampshire Vital Records
New Jersey (NJ)New Jersey Department of Public Health – Vital Statistics
New Mexico (NM)New Mexico State Judiciary Case Lookup
New York (NY)New York State Department of Health
North Carolina (NC)North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services – Vital Records
North Dakota (ND)North Dakota Department of Health – Certified Copies of Divorce Records
Ohio (OH)Ohio Department of Health – Vital Statistics
Oklahoma (OK)Oklahoma State Court Records
Oregon (OR)Oregon State Vital Records Office
Pennsylvania (PA)State Library of Pennsylvania – Vital Records
Rhode Island (RI)Rhode Island State Courts – Family Court
South Carolina (SC)South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control
South Dakota (SD)South Dakota Department of Health – Office of Vital Records
Tennessee (TN)Tennessee Department of Health – Office of Vital Records
Texas (TX)Texas Department of State Health Services
Utah (UT)Utah State Archives – Divorce Records
Vermont (VT)Vermont Vital Records & Population Data – Vermont Department of Health
Virginia (VI)Virginia Department of Health – Office of Vital Records
Washington (WA)Washington State Library – Vital Records
West Virginia (WV)West Virginia Judiciary – Court Information by County
Wisconsin (WI)Wisconsin Department of Health – Requesting a Vital Record
Wyoming (WY)Wyoming Department of Health – Vital Records

How To Find Old Divorce Records (How To Find Divorce Records Online)

Individuals wondering how to find divorce records may be overwhelmed by the number of options that seem to be available after running a quick search on the topic. Although there are seemingly hundreds of websites that offer to find divorce records for any state, keep in mind that the records that these websites return will not be official records.

This is still a great option for individuals who are trying to find out more information about a stranger or someone they met online but will not be sufficient for anything requiring official copies of the divorce records.

Finding Divorce Records for Free

Finding divorce records using an online background check service is usually the easier option as minimal information is needed. Simply choose an online background check service that offers to find divorce records. In most cases, only the first and last name of one of the parties involved in the divorce will be needed to find the records.

Since divorce records are considered public information, the background check service will then run the name provided through different databases and return any information found matching the name entered, including divorce records, should any exist. Electronic results will be returned in a matter of minutes.

Finding Official Divorce Records Online

Obtaining an official copy of a divorce record is a slightly more involved process but is still relatively simple and can be completed in a matter of minutes in most cases.

Step 1: Access the Website of the Agency in Charge of Vital Records

The first step is to identify which agency maintains vital records in your state. In most states, this will be the Department of Health and Human Services but can also be agencies like the state library.

Use the table above to get more information, and keep in mind that in many states, only the county courts will have these records. In this case, individuals will need to contact the local county court clerk for information on the best way to obtain vital records. Contacting the clerk by email or phone is usually a good starting point if this is the case.

Example: For the state of Florida, vital records are held by the Florida Department of Health.1

Step 2: Find Out If Records Can Be Obtained Through the State or County

The next step is to figure out exactly which agency to order the records from. Although in many states vital records are maintained by a state agency, requesting copies of the records will require contacting the county court clerk where the divorce decree was granted.

States that allow individuals to access official records through the state will have specific steps to obtain the records, which generally involve entering basic personal information and a payment method.

Application for Florida Dissolution of marriage certificate (divorce or annulment) form screenshot.

States that require individuals to go through the country court clerk will usually have detailed steps on the best way to request the records. Each county will be slightly different in most cases so the state website will likely provide contact information for each country’s court clerk as well as some basic steps.

Some counties may have an online request system that can be done as a background check before marriage, whereas others will require individuals to contact the clerk directly with the request.

Example: In Florida, vital records can be requested through the Florida Bureau of Vital Statistics by filling out a DH260 form and submitting the form using the steps provided on the website.2

Step 3: Request Records and Provide Payment

The last thing to do is fill out any necessary forms and provide any payment required to obtain the records. The payment required is usually less than $10 and is often less than $5. The agency that is fulfilling the request may have specific payment methods that are preferred but using a credit card is usually ideal, however, most agencies will have multiple payment methods available.

Keep in mind that using a payment method besides a credit card will likely lengthen the entire process as the payment will have to be sent via mail and the certified divorce decree will likely be sent through the mail as well. Electronic payments usually result in receiving an electronic copy.

Ordering copy of divorce decreee ordering information form with yellow arrows pointing to total amounts.
Example: The Florida Bureau of Vital Statics charges a $5.00 search fee.1

How Do I Get a Copy of My Divorce Decree? (How To Find Your Divorce Date)

Most individuals who are wondering how to find divorce records may be interested in finding their own divorce decree. Obtaining a certified copy of your own divorce decree is extremely easy and can be done using the steps in the section above.

In most cases, this will involve contacting the county court clerk with your first and last name and providing a payment method to cover any fees.

Individuals who are looking for a non-official copy of their divorce decree can also use a private background check service that offers to find divorce records as part of their service. There is often a fee associated with these kinds of searches but there are free options available as well.

There are plenty of different reasons that individuals may need a copy of a divorce decree or other divorce records. Although the number of options available for obtaining public documents can be overwhelming, keep in mind that when it comes to how to find divorce records online for free, going through the agency in charge of vital records is usually a good place to start.

Frequently Asked Questions About How To Find Divorce Records

Where Can I Get Public Divorce Records Online?

There are two main ways to get public divorce records online. The first is to go through a private background check agency, most of these agencies are capable of returning virtually any public record that is available on an individual using basic information such as their name and city. Another option is to go through the state agency in charge of maintaining vital records, such as the state department of health. In some cases, only the county where the divorce decree was granted can give copies of divorce records, so knowledge of where the divorce was made official is often necessary.

Can I Get a Copy of My Divorce Decree for Free?

Yes, it is possible to get a copy of your divorce decree for free, but individuals should keep in mind that this will usually be a non-certified copy of the decree and thus will likely not be useful for any official reasons. To obtain a free divore decree copy, simply use an online background check service that offers divorce records as part of their service.

Can an Employer Ask About Your Divorce?

Although it depends on the state, many states have laws that forbid employers from asking employees or applicants about their marital status, which includes divorce. Even in states that it is not specifically illegal, anti-discrimination labor laws make these kinds of questions a legal gray area, and therefore most employers will avoid it just to be safe.

Can a Landlord See Your Divorce Record?

Technically yes, a landlord can see your divorce record. Divorce records are considered public record so any number of background checks that are run as part of a renter’s background screening may reveal divorce records. However, most background checks performed by landlords are simple criminal history checks that would not likely include this information.

What Does a Divorce Decree Look Like?

A divorce decree is a legal document issued by the court that formally ends a marriage. The exact form will vary by state but looks similar to a typical legal document used in court. For reference various Colorado divorce related legal documents can be found here.3

Can You Find Divorce Records Online?

Yes, you can find divorce records online because they are official court records and are public information.


1Florida Health. (2022). Divorce. Certificates. Retrieved July 18, 2022, from <>

2Florida Department of Health Bureau of Vital Statistics. (2022). Application for Florida Dissolution of Marriage Certificate (Divorce or Annulment). DH260 diss marr app 2 3 22. Retrieved July 18, 2022, from <>

3Colorado Judicial Branch. (2022). Family Matters. Forms. Retrieved July 18, 2022, from <>

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