Divorce record wanted
September 12, 2012 6:20 AM   Subscribe

How can I get a copy of my divorce record? I'm in Georgia but don't know the exact year or county of my divorce - just know it was in the mid-90s.

I've seen some online services that charge a fee but have no idea whether they're legit.
posted by hazyjane to Law & Government (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
You can find it via your social security number! Do you remember your old address from when you were divorcing? Start there!!
posted by Yellow at 6:27 AM on September 12, 2012 [1 favorite]

Where were you when you were divorced? Think -- what town were you living in? That's probably the county a good place to start.

Call the court to check the legitimacy of online services. Better yet, go in person, give them your name at the time of your divorce and have them make a copy for you (expect to pay about $1.00 a page at least). The court may also have a computer kiosk where you can search cases by names -- that might be the quickest way to see if it was your county if you're close to where you were divorced.
posted by mibo at 6:28 AM on September 12, 2012

Oops, forgot this link!
posted by Yellow at 6:29 AM on September 12, 2012 [1 favorite]

Sign up for a free 14 day trial on ancestry.com and look yourself up. They should have the date and place of your divorce. You can then contact the local agency for a copy. I spent a couple of hours looking through government websites looking for the date of my divorce and was starting to get frustrated when someone suggested ancestry.com. It was quick and free. You just need to cancel your trial membership when you are done.
posted by calumet43 at 6:38 AM on September 12, 2012

If you want a copy of the decree, you can obtain it from the court house in the county in which the divorce was filed. Most of the time, you have to do this in person, or hire someone to go do it for you. Some counties may offer a by-mail or by-fax service for a fee.

If you just want to see that the case was adjudicated, you can go online to the court house's online docket, if it exists, and see that your case is there (i.e., Smith v. Smith was finalized on June 30, 1998).

I'm afraid, though, that most court house records in GA are not online, but you can always call the court house and ask if the record exists. They should be able and willing to tell you on the phone if you know the names of the two parties.
posted by FergieBelle at 7:14 AM on September 12, 2012

I just checked Ancestry.com's card catalog, and they don't have Georgia divorce records, so that's a dead end.

Nthing that if you don't want to pay someone else to do this for you, you need to contact the court of the county where the divorce was filed. If you're not sure which county, start with whichever county you think you (or your former spouse, whichever of you initiated the divorce) were living in, and then call the surrounding counties. It will require some legwork, but shouldn't cost you anything besides nominal copying fees.

If you'd rather pay someone to do the legwork for you, this Georgia Department of Health website looks legit. That should help you narrow down the year and county. Then you can call the court directly for a copy of the decree.
posted by donajo at 7:47 AM on September 12, 2012

My partner needed to do this. She wasn't sure about the date but did know the county it was in GA.

Do you need the actual decree or just the official date? For passports all my partner needed was the exact date.

I contacted the clerk of the court in the appropriate county and he looked up the date.

She had all the items on this list except the date.

The US CDC actually has links for all kinds of vital records. For you, I have the link to GA. But for anyone else, go up one level in the website and you can find everything for every state.

Please do not pay to get free information! You will need to pay the county a fee to obtain actual documents.

Since my partner just needed a date, we were able to obtain the information at no cost
posted by Librarygeek at 5:59 AM on September 13, 2012

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