One element that all divorces have in common is a mountain of paperwork, including an original petition for divorce among a slew of other detailed documents. The information enclosed in such forms, reports, and papers eventually gets condensed and translated into one comprehensive file known as a divorce record, which is public and available to anyone. If you have someone’s divorce record, you can find information about the ex-spouse and any children of the marriage—even their names and birth dates. The divorce decree will also have the date of the marriage, where the couple married, and financial information, like the income of both spouses at the time of the divorce. If you're wondering how to find out if someone is divorced or you're involved with a divorcée and want to do a bit of sleuthing into the ex files, you're in luck.
Once you find the easily accessible and totally free divorce records, you'll discover in-depth information regarding the divorce settlement, custody arrangements, whether or not alimony was ordered, and the grounds for which the divorce was filed. If there are accusations of domestic abuse or any restraining orders against one of the partners in the divorce, the information will be available in the public divorce record. So, if you're wondering how having access to someone's divorce records would be beneficial to you, we've got you covered. Plus, we'll help you find the divorce decrees for free online.
Don't Blindly Trust What He Tells You
Are you romantically involved with someone who is divorced? Divorce is so common now that it's not necessarily a red flag anymore—especially if the split was amicable. However, if you are unsure or your new suitor clams up and changes the subject at the mention of his ex, divorce records will let you know if there were serious issues in your partner's past marriage—issues that would indicate problems in a future marriage.
The earlier you learn about your new potential significant other, the better. You probably wouldn't want to learn that he may be keeping a big secret after you've fallen in love with him.
Think about it: If you are involved with someone who has a history of domestic abuse or infidelity, wouldn't you want to know before becoming more invested in the relationship? Your reasons for wanting to learn more about your potential life partner are completely valid.
Know Where to Look
Luckily, most divorce records are totally free because they're public information. However, some states, including California, Oregon, and South Dakota, may charge a small fee for access. That said, there are a multitude of free directories for public records. Your best bet is to search the state’s website or to contact the local court clerk. If you search your state's website, you will need to know which court handles divorce in your state or the state you are searching in.
Find your local country clerk online to determine whether or not divorce records are available online and what area of the state website you need to search.
Find Out the Truth
You'd be surprised how many people begin the divorce process but never follow through to the final stages of finalizing it. Just because someone tells you he is divorced doesn’t mean he legally is. He and his ex may be separated, but could still technically be married. If you have doubts, divorce records can put them to rest. You wouldn't want to be with someone who lied to you about something as serious as his marital status, so knowing for sure is key.