Divorce records are simply a record of the divorce filings and the legal action that took place.
People search for divorce records for many reasons, and generally, most people are not sure where to start.
It is best for all parties involved in a divorce to keep a copy of all their divorce paperwork.
But due to natural disasters, fires, human error, or other unforeseen problems, divorce records can be lost.
The good news is that, like any other legal actions that happen within a state, the state of Florida maintains all records for later use.
Divorce records are no exception to this statement and each county maintains its own set of Florida divorce records at a local county divorce records courthouse.
This means that any certified copies of records do not actually come from a state warehouse, but are furnished by each county.
Since all records come from the county the divorce was filed in, that is the best place to start a Florida divorce records search.
If the county is unknown then a searcher can do a trial and error search from county to county or check with the state repository.
The state repository may or may not have all of the divorce records, but generally, a county can be found.
If the divorce was a significant time in the past, a search will normally begin with a query on the current and/or past spouses of the husband.
Most divorce records are historically filed based on the husband’s name, which makes that name a key part of any search even if looking for the female spouse.
A quick query on the information contained in the county divorce records will most likely yield the address where the spouse lived and a searcher can use this information to begin a search on all records surrounding a person.
Throughout the United States divorce, records will vary.
However, the normal information contained in divorce records in the state of Florida are the full names of the individuals in the divorce, the date of the filing, and a certificate number or filing number.
Other information that may be applicable includes the maiden name of the wife and any information regarding children under the age of eighteen.
A typical Florida divorce record search takes between two and ten weeks depending on many different factors.
To make the search as fast as possible make sure to include as much information as possible since the more information provided will make it easier for court personnel to find an exact record.
If the area is highly populated and records are not electronic, a search may be longer because more records exist and they all have to be manually searched.
The good news is that many counties keep electronic and paper records, so finding the right file may be as fast as a computer query.
Additionally, with the economy in the state it is in currently, many courthouses are cutting back on staff, so the personnel available to aid in the search may be limited, which also makes a it take longer.
Finally, if a search is done for genealogical reasons, it can take longer because of the period.
The good news for anyone searching for a Florida divorce record is that the State Office of Vital Statistics has records dating back to June of 1927.
According to Florida divorce law, in statutes 119.071 and 282.025, most marriage and divorce records considered public record.
The easiest and simplest way to get a Florida divorce record is to start with an internet search engine geared for records searching.
The official process is to fill out a Florida Divorce Records Certificate, which is a mail-in form, and send it to the State Office of Vital Statistics.
When the application is mailed, there is a non-refundable fee of five dollars and there may be additional fees based on the type of search and what it turns up.
As mentioned above, include as much information as possible to make the search easier.
Other search tips include keeping the request brief, including the full names of both parties, the maiden name for the wife, limiting the request to one document, full addresses if known, dates of the divorce, and include contact information to be reached anytime during the search.
If the date of the divorce is unknown then include a date range it took place.
The state office will most likely refer a searcher to the county for more complete records.
As you can see, Florida keeps extensive divorce records dating back to 1927.
No matter what reason a person needs divorce records for, unless they are filed differently due to court order, they are considered public record.
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