How to Obtain Divorce Certificates in California?
If your divorce was processed in California and you need to verify your identity, name change or marital status, you may need to obtain a copy of your divorce certificate.
Although the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) stores many divorce records, the process usually takes 3-4 weeks and up to six months so if you need one sooner; you will have to visit the courthouse where your divorce was finalized. They also, only store records from 1962-1984.
There are two types of records you can obtain. One is informational (for genealogy or other family-related purposes), and the other is an official certified copy which is legal to use with all state and federal government agencies.
Divorce records are considered confidential in California, so they are not publicly accessible via the internet. You must fill out an official form to obtain one through legal channels and will not be able to download one instantly.
You can visit the County Superior Court where your divorce was finalized to get a copy of the decree. To request a copy, you must be one of the following:
- One party of the divorce.
- Parent of one party of the divorce.
- The current spouse of either party.
- Domestic partner to one of the parties.
- Brother or sister of one of the parties.
- The child of either party.
- A grandparent of either party.
- An authorized legal representative of either party.
You may visit www.courts.ca.gov to find the courthouse that you need to visit, and you can download the form from there as well.
You can wait while they process the search but if it takes a few hours, they will need to mail the copy to you.
When requesting you will need at least the following information:
- Name of both parties in the divorce.
- Date of the finalized divorce.
- The courthouse where it took place.
- Can number for the divorce.
If you do not supply enough information or they cannot locate your divorce decree, there will not be any refund for the fees; they keep it as a search fee.