Los Angeles County is the most densely populated district in the state of California, and subsequently, many people wonder how to find free Los Angeles county divorce records.
Viewing California divorce records for Los Angeles county and other California districts can be as simple as a quick, free search using the box provided here.
There are also several other ways to find Los Angeles County divorce records and other vital public records.
This complete guide provides the steps for accessing and obtaining the certified copies of divorce records in LA.
Are Divorce Records Public in California?
California is one of the most populated states in the country, and many currently married or divorced residents have queried “Are divorce records public in California?” California is one of many states with a strong preference for public access to information, and it makes divorce records open to the public in almost all cases (California Public Records Act).1,19
Are Los Angeles County Divorce Records Always Public?
Los Angeles is likely the most well-known area of California, and Los Angeles county divorce records are subject to the same public record laws as the rest of the state. In Los Angeles county, divorce records are always public unless they have been sealed.
California courts do not regularly seal records but may make exceptions in cases where the records identify minor children, involve domestic abuse, or contain health information.1
Find Los Angeles County Divorce Records: Can I Get California Divorce Records Online Free?
Many people want to know how to find divorce records online for free.
While viewing records online for free is possible in most cases, obtaining copies of Los Angeles county divorce records and California divorce records online free can be a little tricky.
The California Public Records Act makes obtaining public records simple through online access, in person requests and mail-in forms.
The easiest way to view any divorce record quickly is to use an online search tool such as the one provided on this site. This type of search can generate much useful information, such as the date of divorce, place of divorce, and parties to the divorce.
Some counties in California, including Los Angeles county, have online databases which allow users to search court cases and records (County of Los Angeles Superior Court Case Access)20 valuable information such as case summaries, document images, and rulings can be accessed via this route, as well.7
How Do I Conduct a Free Public Divorce Records Search for LA County?
There are a few options for individuals who want to view divorce records and want to know how to find divorce records online for free. When conducting a free public divorce records search, there are a few pathways available.10
- Use the search tool in this article to find divorce records quickly.
- Use the federal online database, Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER),21 to check for records that have been filed and stored at the federal level.
- Contact or visit the court where the divorce was filed and ask to view records (sometimes free).
- Use an online database specific to the Superior Court in the county of interest to search for case information (e.g. Superior Court of California, County of Fresno Public Portal)
How To Find Divorce Records: California and Los Angeles County
When someone wants to know how to find divorce records, they need to know a little bit about how the courts are organized in the state where they live. In the state of California, each county has its own Superior Court, or trial court, which handles all criminal cases and civil cases, and some appeals cases. Family law falls under the civil case umbrella, meaning that divorce cases are dealt with at the county level in California.18
The California Department of Public Health keeps divorce records from 1962-1984, other divorce records can be obtained at the county level.
While the State of California Department of Public Health does retain divorce certificates for specified years, available at a fee, divorce judgments and more extensive records are always found at the local level.22 Therefore, to find divorce records, a person must be able to locate the court where the case was disposed of. The California Courts Locator tool allows a person to enter a city or zip code and see the corresponding courts.23
How To Get a Copy of Divorce Decree Online (California)
Many people have wondered how to get a copy of divorce decree online in California, and although it is not possible to obtain divorce decrees at the state level, it is sometimes possible to obtain the divorce certificate.
The divorce certificate is an official document that notes the basic information of a divorce case (parties involved, court location, parties involved, dates) and can serve as proof of divorce.6
The State of California Department of Public Health (CDPH) retains divorce certificates for the years 1962 through mid-1984.22 Individuals looking for a divorce certificate within this time frame can complete an application (VS 113 B (PDF)) and mail the application and associated fee ($16) to the CDPH at the address below.24
California Department of Public Health
Vital Records – MS 5103
PO Box 997410
Sacramento, CA 95899-7410
Other divorce records must be obtained at the county level which is explored further in the next sections.
How Do I Get a Copy of My Divorce Decree for Official Purposes?
When a person needs to know how do I get a copy of my divorce decree for official purposes?, they must begin by identifying the county court in California which handled the divorce case. They should:
- Use the California Courts Locator to find a list of courts in the city or zip code where they reside or resided at the time of the divorce.23
For example, an individual residing in San Diego, California can enter “San Diego” into the search bar to generate the courthouses for that area.
- Scan the list for the courthouse which handles Family Law for contact information or click the link to the Superior Court website at the top of the list.
- Contact the courthouse to make an appointment to visit in person or search the website for online ordering options.1
The Superior Court of San Diego is one example of a county where an individual can access court records and order select documents electronically.25
- Be sure to have the appropriate information and fees for obtaining the document copy or copies.
How Do I Get a Copy of My Divorce Decree in Los Angeles County?
In Los Angeles county, divorce records can be accessed electronically via the case access portal (County of Los Angeles Superior Court Case Access).20 For individuals wondering “How do I get a copy of my divorce decree in Los Angeles county?,” there is even better news.
The Superior Court of LA County allows residents (and the public) to search court case records, including divorce cases, using an online platform.
Los Angeles County has a designated website for ordering divorce judgment documents.16 An individual can find and order a divorce decree by searching with the case number. There is also a link to find the case number when it is unknown.
To get a copy of a divorce decree in LA county, simply follow the Divorce Judgment Documents link and click “Place An Order” at the bottom of the page.26 Follow the instructions to complete the order and process it.
Note that fees per page or document apply.
How To Get a Copy of Divorce Decree Online When It Is Someone Else’s
Some people who have asked how to get a copy of a divorce decree online may be interested in seeing a divorce decree belonging to someone else, such as their parent, their child, their significant other, their client, etc. While some states restrict access to divorce decrees to the parties identified in the case, California generally allows anyone with the necessary information (court name, party names, case number) to request and order a divorce decree.4,13
In other states and counties, an unauthorized individual may be required to provide written and notarized consent for the release of the information, but this is not typically required in the state of California.
Resources for Los Angeles County Divorce Records and More
Individuals looking for Los Angeles county divorce records may also be interested to know what other resources are available to people searching public records. The following table provides helpful links, indexes, and forms.
Accessing Los Angeles Court Connect
In the midst of and following the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, more government agencies began seeking ways to increase electronic access to records and more for public health and efficiency. The Los Angeles court system has developed an online application (LA Court Connect) that allows individuals to accomplish much more remotely.15,27
The LA Court Connect platform offers a host of resources including forms, filing information, and official files.
LA Court Connect allows individuals to schedule remote appearances for many court case types. To register, follow the link to LA Court Connect and click the yellow “Sign Up” button to create a new account.27 While remote scheduling is strongly encouraged, fees ranging from $15 for an audio appearance to $23 for a video appearance do apply.15
LA Court Connect Remote Appearance
LA Court Connect remote appearance is a new and permanent addition to the Los Angeles court system.
Recent changes allow residents to appear in court remotely as well.
This pathway is strongly encouraged by the Superior Court of Los Angeles, as it provides a secure way for participants in a case to appear when they are not physically able to come to the courtroom. Fees are $15 for an audio appearance and $23 for a video appearance. A fee waiver may be available in some circumstances.15
LA Court Connect Attorney Portal
There is also an LA Court Connect Attorney Portal which has resources for attorneys and their staff for completing case tasks, scheduling remote appearances, and tracking court dates.17
How To See My Divorce Status: California Updates and Tracking
The waiting game during divorce proceedings can be unnerving, and many people feel anxious to know when a judge has been assigned to their case or when a judgment has been processed. To see their divorce status, California residents can enter access case information via the county Superior Court website by searching with their case number. Once a judge has been assigned to a case, the case summary information should appear.
These court records should be updated regularly to display the most current account of court actions, motions, and rulings.5 Alternatively, individuals can also do a free search using the search tool in this article to see any divorce records of interest!
Can I Check Divorce Status Online (California)?
There are a couple of ways to check divorce status online (California), and the first and easiest way is to conduct an online search using a search tool like the one on this site. It is both free and convenient!
Another option is to use the case search in the Superior Court of the county where the divorce proceedings are to see updates and rulings in the case (e.g. San Diego County Court Index, Superior Court of California, County of Fresno Public Portal).1,28
How To Find My Divorce Date Online for Free
Anyone who wants to know how to find my divorce date online for free has a few options at their disposal.
- Use the free search box provided in this article to see divorce records!
- Use the federal PACER application to search cases and see court records.21
- Search case information through the county Superior Court’s online database.
How To Find Out if Someone Is Divorced in California
Knowing how to find out if someone is divorced is a useful bit of information for anyone. Some specific cases include when:
- Dating someone knew
- Needing to verify the results of a personal divorce case
- Assisting friends or family with personal matters
- Researching genealogical records and history
Conveniently, California divorces are matters of public record and can be viewed by anyone without demonstrating a justifiable reason.9 Divorce records can be searched on public sites such as this one or through government pathways, such as those discussed throughout this article.
Oftentimes, an individual can use social media and other internet resources to see another person’s divorce status. The federal database, PACER, may also prove useful in some situations.11,21
There are plenty of situations where an individual may need to access divorce records for themselves, their significant other, children, etc. Luckily, in California, divorce records are publicly accessible and can be viewed and obtained in several different ways. Los Angeles county divorce records are a click away using the search tool provided here!
Frequently Asked Questions About Los Angeles County Divorce Records