Before learning about how you can access divorce records in the state of New York, you should know about the two types of such records. They are:
A Divorce Decree is a court prepared document where all the terms and conditions of separation or the divorce are mentioned. However, this official document becomes valid only once the judge signs it. The decree is definitely a divorce record because this contains information about various issues like how the assets and liabilities are divided, issues related to child custody and visitation rights if any, alimony and others. Once all the information is entered and once the judge signs the document, it is the Clerk's office that maintains it as the record of the divorce.
If you want a copy of this document in New York, you must approach the Clerk's office. Do remember that if the divorce occurred before January 1st 1963, then this would be the only document that will exist.
A Divorce Certificate is filed with the State Department of Health. There is a certificate for each divorce that was granted after January 1st 1963. This document contains some basic information about the wife and husband, and place as well as date of the divorce. To get a copy of this document, you need to approach the NY State Department of Health.
It can be accessed by the husband or wife or both, and anyone who has a court order from a court in the state.
To request a New York divorce certificate, please follow the directions below:
Download the PDF format application for a Divorce Certificate.
Read all the instructions and complete the form with the information about the husband, wife, date of divorce, and place of divorce.
State your purpose for the request and your relationship to the parties on the document. Be sure to make a legible copy of your ID to include with the form. Then sign and date at the bottom of the form.
Mail the completed form to the below address, along with a check or money order for $30 for each copy, and an extra $15 if you wish priority handling.
Mail your completed application to:
New York State Department of Health
Vital Records Section/ Certification Unit
PO Box 2602
Albany, NY 12220-2602
About New York Divorce Records
In New York, there are two types of divorce records. The original divorce decree is the document that was filed with the County Clerk in the county where the petitioner lived. Anyone who was a party on the divorce and wants a full divorce decree must request it directly from the County Clerk.
A divorce certificate, with the names of the husband and wife, date of divorce, and place where marriage ended, can be obtained from the New York State Department of Health. Only divorce records after January 1, 1963 can be requested.
Who May Obtain A New York Divorce Certificate?
Only the husband or wife listed on the divorce may request a certified copy. Other persons with a New York State court order may also make a request. Proper and valid ID is required.
What Are The Fees for a Divorce Certificate?
A $30 fee is required for each copy of a divorce certificate. Anyone may request a priority mail via UPS for an additional $15. Internet orders through the vendor, VitalCheck, must also pay the UPS priority fee, plus an additional $7.50.