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California is one of the most challenging states to request divorce records from. With over 36 million in population, it's difficult to ascertain whether or not California leads the states in divorces because California doesn't keep track of the number from each county. However, we do know that there are virtually thousands of divorces per year in the "Golden State," and searching through the records can be a daunting task.
California does offer free public divorce records, but with 58 counties in the state, you might be searching for quite a long time. A certified copy of a divorce decree can be obtained from the county office of the Superior Court in which the divorce was filed. If the divorce occurred between 1962 and 1984, the court will only provide a Certificate of Record which cannot be used as a certified copy. Processing these requests can sometimes take as long as six months and cost is $13 (check or money order) per copy. You'll need to fill out an application and send that with the appropriate fee amount to:
California Department of Public Health
Vital Records – MS 5103
P.O. Box 997410
Sacramento, CA 95899-7410
A faster and more reliable method for obtaining California divorce records would be to enlist the help of a fee-based online search site. A reputable search site employs professionals to search through the maze of records and provide you with the exact information you need and can usually complete the service within minutes – or, at the most, 24 hours. A fee-based search site has a number of databases and search engines available to perform searches, and you'll receive the information in concise form rather than a hodge-podge of data.
Attorneys and other legal professionals use monthly subscriptions for fee-based, online search sites for the vast volume of information they require on a daily basis. You can also choose a one-time-only search if you're an individual who needs a particular California divorce record for your own use. All you have to do is enter a small amount of information, such as the names of the parties involved in the divorce and county and/or date where the divorce took place. If the online search site doesn't provide the information you need, there is no charge.
A fee-based site also searches through other states' databases, so if you're not sure that the divorce is part of California divorce records, the information you need might be recovered from another state. An online, fee-based search site is equipped with the databases and other tracking devices it needs to perform the search for you and deliver the information in a clear, concise and timely manner. Look online to see how such a search site can help you find the California divorce record you’re searching for.