Search District of Columbia Divorce Records
Searching for divorce records in the state of District of Columbia
Each state has its own local organization that records the important moments in any one person’s life, such as their birth, marriage and death as well as records of any divorces they go through. The state of District of Columbia is no exception and as well as finding papers concerning divorce hearings in court documents and archives, you can also find copies of divorce certificates on file at the local registry. Whether you simply want to research local divorce records or even order a new copy of your own, the local Registrar Recorder or County Clerk in District of Columbia will be the right person to help you out – or at least one of the many staff in their offices will be!
There are many reasons why someone might want to search for details of divorce records in the state of District of Columbia. For one, someone might want to search for their own divorce record if they need a copy of the legal document in order to get remarried or for other identification purposes – or even to make sure that their ex-partner has got the divorce arranged like they promised! You might want to check out your new partner’s background by researching how many times they have been married previously, if these previous marriages produced any children and if they have actually divorced their last wife or husband like they told you they had. Some details in divorce records are private, depending on certain factors, such as when the divorce happened or if any children were named in the proceedings. There are also often court hearings associated with divorce cases, especially when the two parties contest the circumstances surrounding the separation, who should get custody of any children as well as how much alimony the husband should be paying to his ex-wife and family. If you can’t get access to the final divorce records because of the restrictions on these documents within the state of District of Columbia, then you can always try searching the archives at your local county courthouse for any legal papers that relate to divorce hearings mentioning any of the names you are interested in finding.
If you are researching your family history and are interested in searching older divorce records in District of Columbia then you are unlikely to have any problems with privacy, as most of these personal records are only protected for a set period of time. However, in many parts of the US, divorce was uncommon until the 1950s and was often not legally recorded before that time. So, using old divorce records to try and pin down details of your ancestors may not be the most effective method. Unlike births, deaths and marriages people are unlikely to announce divorces in local newspapers, so even the press in District of Columbia won’t be helpful to you on this occasion. The only answer is to get your hands dirty at the local archives in the courthouse or County Clerk’s office or to send them a request by mail, email or telephone to carry out the search for you if you live outside of the state of District of Columbia.
Of course, the staff at these offices are busy with their own work, so it can take a while for you to hear back from them, as well as they will charge a standard fee for their services. It can often be much quicker to carry out the search yourself online, either through the official websites that many County Recorder’s offices in District of Columbia now have, or through more commercial, nationwide search sites that allow you to input what information you have and can, then search through all available computerized databases. This has the added advantage of not just searching divorce records in District of Columbia, but throughout the US, as you might not be sure exactly where someone was divorced or lived in the past. These sites will also charge you a fee, if they find anything that matches your search criteria, and if you want to delve deeper into the information that is available. If you are happy merely seeing a list of returned matches or if no matches are found on the names you are looking for, then the sites will often charge you no fee at all and in some cases return any initial payments made.