Free Los Angeles County Divorce Records: See All California Divorce Records Free

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Background Checks | November 23, 2022

Magnifying glass over Los Angeles County, Divorce Records Document on the right illustrating how to find LA County Divorce and vital records.

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.

Screenshot of California website page for public records act with yellow arrows on how to request public records.

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

  1. Use the search tool in this article to find divorce records quickly.
  2. 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.
  3. Contact or visit the court where the divorce was filed and ask to view records (sometimes free).
  4. 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

Screenshot of California Department of Public Health website page for vital records with yellow arrows on how to get copies of divorce records.

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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
  4. 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.

Screenshot of the Superior court of California website page for County of Los Angeles with yellow arrow on how to search and access cases.

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.

State of CaliforniaResourcesContact Information
California Marriage Records (1905 – 1999, 2009 – 2020)VS 113 A (PDF) – Application for Certified Copy of Marriage RecordCalifornia Department of Public Health
Vital Records – MS 5103
PO Box 997410
Sacramento, CA 95899-7410
Phone: (916) 445-2684
Email: CHSIVitalRecordsScdph.ca.gov
California Marriage Records (2000 – 2008, 2021 – 2022)Each county has its own form.
Examples: Alpine County – Application for Certified Copy of a Confidential Marriage Certificate
San Bernardino County – Application For Certified Copy
County and City Registrars and Recorders Contact List
California Divorce Records (1962 – June 1984)VS 113 B (PDF) – Application for Certified Copy of Divorce RecordCalifornia Department of Public Health
Vital Records – MS 5103
PO Box 997410
Sacramento, CA 95899-7410
Phone: (916) 445-2684
Email: CHSIVitalRecordsScdph.ca.gov
California Divorce RecordsContact the Superior Court in the County of Divorce FilingCalifornia Superior Courts Index With Contacts
California Court Records Search (California Court Records Name Search)California Court Records Searches Go Through Local Trial Courts
Check Online Services on the County Court Website
Example: San Diego County Court Index
California Courts Locator – Find Your Court
California Court Case Search (California Court Case Search By Name)California Appellate Courts Case InformationN/A

 

Los Angeles CountyResourcesContact Information
Los Angeles County Marriage RecordsApplication for Marriage Record and Certificate of Identity
Application for Confidential Marriage Record
Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk
Birth, Death, and Marriage Records Section
PO Box 489
Norwalk, CA 90651-0489
Los Angeles County Divorce RecordsDivorce Judgment Document Order WebsiteStanley Mosk Courthouse
111 North Hill Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012
Phone: (213) 830-0803
Los Angeles Court Case Search (Los Angeles Court Case Search By Name)Superior Court of Los Angeles Court Case Search
Superior Court of Los Angeles Court Case Search By Name
N/A
Los Angeles Court Connect (LA Court Connect)LA Court ConnectLos Angeles Court Connect Service Desk
Phone: (213) 830-0400
Los Angeles Superior Court Case SummaryLos Angeles Superior Court Case Summary AccessSuperior Court of California Los Angeles Courthouse Locations

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

Screenshot of LA Court home website page.

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.

Screenshot of Superior court of California website page for LA Court with yellow arrow pointing to how to schedule free remote appearance in courts.

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.

  1. Use the free search box provided in this article to see divorce records!
  2. Use the federal PACER application to search cases and see court records.21
  3. 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

What Is the Divorce Rate in California?

While the national divorce rate has very gradually decreased over the last two decades, the divorce rate in California has seen a more notable decline.14 According to the United States Census Bureau, California’s divorce rate as of 2020 was approximately 8.9%, and Los Angeles County boasted an even lower rate of 8.2%.29, 30, 31

Are Marriage Records Public When One Party Is a Minor?

Some people may wonder are marriage records public when one party is a minor, and in the state of California, a minor can be legally married with the consent of one parent and permission of the courts. Furthermore, a marriage involving a minor is by law a public, not confidential marriage, meaning that those marriage records are publicly accessible.2

Why Would I Need a Premarital Background Check?

A premarital background check can provide peace of mind to anyone contemplating marriage and particularly those individuals who want to know more about their partner’s past before making a long-term commitment.8

What Does a Divorce Decree Look Like in California?

People are often curious about what does a divorce decree look like, and as the decree is the final divorce judgment, it is typically the most complete document and may be several pages long. In California, a divorce decree will name the California court where the case was settled, the parties involved, how property will be divided, how financial obligations will be met, and how child support, custody, and visitation will be arranged.3,12

Can I Access California Divorce Records Online if I Live in a Different State?

Accessing California divorce records online is independent of the current state of residence, but it does depend upon whether the individual county has an online database for record access.

Are Divorce Records Public if They Have Been Sealed?

California has a strong preference for keeping records open and public, but some records may be sealed for reasons such as victim protection and minor confidentiality, leading to the question “Are divorce records public if they have been sealed?” No, a sealed record is no longer viewable by the public at large.9,10


References

1Berenji, H. (2021, September 23). How to Look up Divorce Records in California. Berenji & Associates. Retrieved October 20, 2022, from <https://www.berenjifamilylaw.com/how-to-look-up-divorce-records-in-california/>

2California Department of Public Health. (2022). Types of Marriage Licenses. California Department of Public Health. Retrieved October 20, 2022, from <https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CHSI/Pages/Types-of-Marriage-Licenses-.aspx>

3Furman & Zavatsky. (2020, April 16). What is a Final Divorce Decree in California? Furman & Zavatsky Divorce Law Professionals. Retrieved October 20, 2022, from <https://www.furmanzavatsky.com/what-is-a-final-divorce-decree-in-california>

4Heinig, M. (2022). How to Get a Copy of a Divorce Decree. Divorce Net. Retrieved October 20, 2022, from <https://www.divorcenet.com/resources/how-to-get-a-copy-of-a-divorce-decree.html>

5Hello Divorce Team. (2022, July 05). What is the Legal Status of Your Divorce Case in California? Hello Divorce. Retrieved October 20, 2022, from <https://resources.hellodivorce.com/what-is-the-legal-status-of-your-divorce-case-in-california>

6Kurtz, J. (2022). What’s the Difference Between a Divorce Decree and a Divorce Certificate? Sas for Women. Retrieved October 18, 2022, from <https://sasforwomen.com/whats-the-difference-between-a-divorce-decree-and-a-divorce-certificate/>

7Los Angeles Almanac. (2019). Los Angeles County Court Records. Los Angeles Almanac. Retrieved October 20, 2022, from <https://www.laalmanac.com/_main/lacountyrecords.php>

8Mendoza, M. (2022). Why You Should Get a Background Check Before Getting Married. Germ Magazine. Retrieved October 18, 2022, from <https://germmagazine.com/why-you-should-get-a-background-check-before-getting-married/>

9A People’s Choice. (2021). How to Find Divorce Records in California. A People’s Choice. Retrieved October 20, 2022, from <https://apeopleschoice.com/divorce-records-california/>

10PublicLibraries.com. (2022). Public Records. Public Libraries. Retrieved October 20, 2022, from <https://publiclibraries.com/public-records/>

11Sandvick, C. M. (2022, August 05). How to Find Divorce Records. Wiki How. Retrieved October 18, 2022, from <https://www.wikihow.com/Find-Divorce-Records>

12Sember, B. (2022, May 02). What is a Final Divorce Decree? Legal Zoom. Retrieved October 18, 2022, from <https://www.legalzoom.com/articles/what-is-a-final-divorce-decree>

13StateRecords.org. (2022). Where to find Divorce Records. StateRecords.org. Retrieved October 20, 2022, from <https://staterecords.org/vital/divorce>

14StateRecords.org. (2022). How to Find a Divorce Record in California. StateRecords.org. Retrieved October 20, 2022, from <https://california.staterecords.org/divorcerecords.php>

15The Superior Court of California County of Los Angeles. (2020, August 18). Frequently Asked Questions About LACourtConnect and the Attorney Portal. The Superior Court of California County of Los Angeles. Retrieved October 20, 2022, from <https://www.lacourt.org/documents/LACCFaqs.pdf>

16The Superior Court of California County of Los Angeles. (2022). Divorce Judgment Documents. The Superior Court of California County of Los Angeles. Retrieved October 20, 2022 <https://www.lacourt.org/ldos/>

17The Superior Court of California County of Los Angeles. (2022). LASC Attorney Portal Home Page. The Superior Court of California County of Los Angeles. Retrieved October 20, 2022, from <https://my.lacourt.org/attorney/#/>

18The Superior Court of California County of Santa Clara. (2022). Overview of the State Court System. The Superior Court of California County of Santa Clara. Retrieved October 20, 2022, from <https://www.scscourt.org/general_info/community/courtsystem.shtml>

19California Franchise Tax Board. (2022, April 20). California Public Records Act. State of California Franchise Tax Board. Retrieved October 24, 2022, from <https://www.ftb.ca.gov/your-rights/california-public-records-act.html>

20Superior Court of California, County of Los Angeles. (2022). Case Access. Superior Court of California, County of Los Angeles. Retrieved October 24, 2022, from <https://www.lacourt.org/casesummary/ui/index.aspx?casetype=familylaw>

21Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts. (2022). PACER Home Page. PACER. Retrieved October 24, 2022, from <https://pacer.uscourts.gov/>

22California Department of Public Health. (2020, May 04). Mail-In Request for Copies of Divorce Records. California Department of Public Health. Retrieved October 24, 2022, from <https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CHSI/Pages/Divorce-Mail.aspx>

23Judicial Council of California. (2022). Find Your Court. California Courts. Retrieved October 24, 2022, from <https://www.courts.ca.gov/find-my-court.htm>

24California Department of Public Health. (2022, October 13). How to Obtain a Certificate of Record for a Divorce. California Department of Public Health. Retrieved October 24, 2022, from <https://www.cdph.ca.gov/CDPH%20Document%20Library/ControlledForms/VS113b.pdf>

25Superior Court of California, County of San Diego. (2022). Superior Court of California, County of San Diego Home Page. Superior Court of California, County of San Diego. Retrieved October 24, 2022, from <https://www.sdcourt.ca.gov/>

26Superior Court of California, County of Los Angeles. (2022). Divorce Judgment Documents. Superior Court of California, County of Los Angeles. Retrieved October 24, 2022, from <https://www.lacourt.org/ldos/>

27The Superior Court of Los Angeles. (2022). Schedule a Free Remote Appearance. The Superior Court California County of Los Angeles. Retrieved October 24, 2022, from <https://my.lacourt.org/laccwelcome>

28Superior Court of California, County of San Diego. (2022). Court Index. Superior Court of California, County of San Diego. Retrieved October 24, 2022, from <https://courtindex.sdcourt.ca.gov/CISPublic/enter>

29United States Census Bureau. (2022). Explore Census Data. United States Census Bureau. Retrieved October 24, 2022, from <https://data.census.gov/cedsci/>

30United States Census Bureau. (2022). California. United States Census Bureau. Retrieved October 24, 2022, from <https://data.census.gov/cedsci/profile?g=0400000US06>

31United States Census Bureau. (2022). Los Angeles County, California. United States Census Bureau. Retrieved October 24, 2022, from <https://data.census.gov/cedsci/profile/Los_Angeles_County,_California?g=0500000US06037>

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