How to find out if a divorce has been filed

Written by jennifer eblin
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How to find out if a divorce has been filed
(laptop image by Angie Lingnau from Fotolia.com)

Did your spouse recently inform you that he has filed for divorce? Maybe you did the filing, but now you need to know whether the court received a copy of your information. In either case, you'll need to do a little bit of research and put in some time to find that copy. To find out if a divorce has been filed, you should start by going through your mail and contacting your attorney.

Skill level:
Easy

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Things you need

  • Telephone
  • Internet access

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Go through your mail to see whether you've been served divorce papers. In some cases the papers are sent by registered mail, in which case you'll need to pick them up from the post office or sign for them from your mail carrier. You must be notified of the filing before it's approved by the courts, and the other party must do so by process server or registered mail.

  2. 2

    Contact your attorney if you filed for divorce and request a copy of the delivery receipt. This receipt shows that your attorney filed the papers in the court system. In some cases you can contact your spouse's attorney and ask for the receipt if she filed for divorce instead of you.

  3. 3

    Visit the courthouse of the county where you live. If you filed for divorce or had your attorney do it, those papers should be filed with the county courthouse. It is free to search, though if you need a record, you'll probably have to pay copying fees.

  4. 4

    Call the county courthouse where your ex-spouse lives. The divorce papers must be filed in the county where either you or your spouse lived. If you checked with your own courthouse and didn't have any success, check with the county where he lives. One of the two must have a record of the filing.

  5. 5

    Perform a public-records search online. There are several websites that allow you to search online, for a small or large fee, but you can also search records in many cities or counties for free. You need to go to the city or county website and look for the Public Records Search option.

Tips and warnings

  • You can use the steps outlined here to find divorce papers for anyone, not just yourself. It works even if you're curious about the history of your newest dating partner.
  • Don't assume that your divorce papers were filed just because you hear it from your spouse or ex-spouse. Always make sure for yourself, because you can run into problems both in your personal and professional lives in the future if you're still legally married.

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