Divorce records provide documented information that an individual is legally divorced. By accessing divorce records, you can determine exactly where and when a divorce filing was submitted, identifying case numbers and names of parties involved. Divorce records can also show if domestic violence was involved and reveal information regarding restraining orders, child custody, property and other divorce settlement resolutions.
Divorce records are maintained at the state and county level. Many states provide means of obtaining a copy of your divorce records; however, you will need to know where to go to request them. In California, residents can contact the California Department of Public Health’s Office of Vital Records to request a duplicate of their divorce records. Many states have few records prior to dates shown or are hampered by non-computerized methods, lack of personnel and other various circumstances that could delay the time it takes to obtain divorce records.
Amount of time to Obtain Divorce Records
Due to budget constraints in California, the Center for Health Statistics Web site says processing time can be delayed for up to six months. As an alternative, it is possible to obtain the divorce records by contacting the Superior Court in the county where the divorce was filed. A certified copy of the actual divorce decree is provided by the Superior Court.
California Certificate of Dissolution of Marriage Requests are issued by the Center for Health Statistics and only for divorces between 1962 and June 1984. A Certificate of Record will provide the names of the parties to the divorce, case number and the name of the county where the divorce was filed. The Certificate of Record is not the same as a certified copy of the divorce decree. If you are not able to list the county where the divorce was filed, a request for a Certificate of Record (1962 through June 1984 only) can be submitted to the Center for Health Statistics for processing, which, as stated earlier, can be delayed for six months.
Certificate of Record
The length of time taken to process a request can be expedited as well as the accuracy of the response increased, by using the Application for Certified Copy of Marriage or Divorce Record. What you will see on the form is information such as the name of the wife as it appears on the divorce record, the full name of the husband, date of divorce and county in which the divorce took place. To obtain a Certificate of Record, a $13 check or money order must be sent to the Office of Vital Records, along with the information to the California Department of Health Services.
One can’t actually visit The California Office of Vital Records in person, as it does not have a public counter. Your request for a divorce record can only processed through the mail but you can call the Customer Service Unit if you need a question answered.