If so, divorce records will let you know if there were serious issues in your partner's past marriage—issues that would indicate problems in a future marriage. Was the divorce finalized?
If you have doubts, divorce records can put those doubts to rest. Divorce records are a wealth of information when determining genealogy.
For example, if your grandparents were divorced and you are searching for aunts or uncles, divorce records will give you the names, birth dates, and birthplaces to all children of the marriage. It is a great way of locating relatives you may have lost contact with. Remember, start at the state level and work your way down to the county level. With a little digging, you will find where the divorce records are kept and since they are classified as a public record, you will be able to get a copy.
Division of Vital Records
Divorces are court cases, brought before a judge who is charged with overseeing a negotiated settlement or with resolving disputed issues ranging from custody to support to property division. Most court files are public, including divorce files.
How to Get a Free Copy of Divorce Records | LegalZoom Legal Info
But this doesn't mean that every document in every file will be open to public viewing. Any party to a divorce can ask the court to make a particular document or group of documents private, sealing them from public viewing. They must show that privacy concerns outweigh the public right to know.
Often courts seal files and documents that involve child custody issues or sexual abuse. Visit the court clerk's office at the courthouse where a divorce case was heard. You'll need some data about the divorce, at least the names of the parties and the year of the divorce, if not the case number. Give whatever information you have to the clerk and ask to see the file. Many courts provide an area where you can sit and look through court files.
City of Philadelphia
You may be able to ask the clerk to make copies of critical documents for a per-page fee. Some state courts maintain a case file database that you can search online. But exactly what you'll find online differs among jurisdictions.