Search Massachusetts Divorce Records
Searching for divorce records in Essex County in the state of Massachusetts
Divorce records can reveal quite a lot of information about someone’s past, and the documents maintained by the authorities in Essex County are no different. These kinds of personal records, along with birth, death and marriage certificates, are maintained by the County Clerk or the Registrar Recorder, though details of divorce hearings can also sometimes be found in county courthouse archives. Many divorces are not contested, so there are unlikely to be any additional legal documents to those you find at the Essex County Clerk or Registrar Recorder’s office, but if there was any disagreement between the two parties – about the circumstances regarding the separation, the custody of any children or even financial disputes – then there will also be papers and records relating to the court hearing for you to search through.
Divorce records are not an ideal way to search for details of your family history, as these documents were often only comprehensively kept from the early twentieth century. Before that time, individual counties either did not allow divorce or did not keep strict records of which marriages had been legally ended. If you are looking for more recent information on someone who may have lived in Essex County in the state of Massachusetts, especially in relation to their marital status or relationship history, then a search of local divorce records could prove very useful.
Perhaps you suspect that your new partner has not been entirely truthful about how many times they have been married, or even if their last relationship is legally over; you can always search their name and details in the divorce records maintained by the County Clerk or Registrar Recorder in Essex County. There are sometimes restrictions on who can see these documents in their entirety, according to the finer details of the divorce and how long ago it was, but by looking through the archives maintained by the County Clerk or even the county courthouse in Essex County, you should be able to find enough information to put your mind at rest. If you are looking at older records for research purposes, you will probably find there are fewer restrictions on the information you can see in these documents. Sometimes court records concerning divorce hearings will contain information relating to the financial settlements. This can be useful if you are concerned that your new partner is only interested in marrying people for their money!
Although the Essex County Clerk and Registrar Recorder have their own archives with many of the documents transferred to computer systems to make searching easier, if you live far from the state of Massachusetts but are interested in searching divorce records in the region, it might be a better idea to use one of the commercial sites that compile data on this kind of personal information from various sources across the country. Although you may have to pay a fee to get the full results of your search, you can be more confident by using one of these sites that the search you have carried out is as comprehensive as possible. Even if you get no results from searching divorce records in Essex County or even in the state of Massachusetts, then you could always widen your search to the whole of the US. If someone is lying to you about their marital status or their past relationships, then there is no reason why they would not lie to you about where they have lived before; just because they say they have always lived in Essex County doesn’t mean it would not be a good idea to search divorce records from the whole of the US if you are concerned about their intentions. Often, these sites will not charge you if the search returns no “hits” or if you only want to see a brief list of the results rather than the detailed information.
If it is older records that you are interested in and they seem not to be available on the computer systems you are using online, then there may be no alternative but to get your hands dirty searching through the original paper records in the archives at the offices of the Essex County Clerk and Registrar Recorder. Staff at these archives will be able to help you with your search, and may even carry it out on your behalf, for a fee, if you live far away from the state of Massachusetts.