Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Are New York Divorce Records Public

Indexes To The Vital Records Of New York State

FAQ: Are Divorce Records Private in New York State?

Copies of the microfiche index to vital records certificates held by the NYS Department of Health are located at the following locations:

  • New York State Archives, Cultural Education Center, Empire State Plaza, Albany, NY 12230. Telephone 518-474-8955 email . Available Monday through Friday 9:30-4:30 and Saturday 9:30-4:30 except State holidays. No appointment is needed to use the indexes. Researchers must produce identification, sign a registration form, and comply with the rules of the research room. Several microfiche readers are available for use, though researchers will be limited to one hour’s use if other persons are waiting.
  • For a telephone message with ordering options for genealogical or certified vital records call:


    For records for births through 1909, deaths up to and including 1948, and marriages up to and including 1930 contact:

    31 Chambers Street, Room 103 New York, NY 10007 639-9675

    These are the years for which you may obtain records for genealogical purposes. The phone message gives options.

    For records for births 1910 to present, deaths 1949 to present, and marriages 1931 to present contact a place below:

    New York City Department of Health 125 Worth Street, CN 4, Room 133 New York, NY 10013 or City Clerk

    What Is A New York Divorce Decree

    New York state divorce decrees are sealed documents that contain all of the information included in a divorce certificate, plus the court’s final judgement. Generally, a divorce decree serves the purpose of stating the rights and responsibilities of both parties. This includes spousal support, child support, child custody, visitation schedules, division of property, life and health insurance responsibilities, and how the parties will divide debt or future payments. Most often, a divorce decree is requested by one of the parties when they wish to review and make changes to it. This document is available for purchase by either spouse, and also by anyone with a New York State Court Order.

    Who Can Obtain A Certified Copy Of A Divorce Report

    You are entitled to obtain a certified copy of a divorce report if you are:

    • One of the divorced parties
    • Adult child of the divorced parties
    • A present or former spouse of either divorced party, or their respective legal representative.

    Other applicants may be provided a statement that the divorce occurred, including the date and county of divorce.

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    Who Would Search For A Divorce Record

    Anyone who knows where to look can access divorce records in New York. While most people would not care to do some digging to get that information, there are some parties that might want to find a divorce record and look for a way to exploit it. Consider celebrity divorces and how much the tabloids would give to know the intricacies of child custody, alimony, and so forth for such couples.

    In more common situations, public divorce records could benefit other family members who might be interested in trying to get their hands on property or financial assets, such as in a high net worth divorce. No matter the circumstances, it can feel like an uncomfortable invasion of privacy to have your divorce put where the public can pick it up for inspection.

    C Judgment Docket And Lien Section Matrimonial Judgments Business Filings

    Are New York Divorce Records Public?

    The Judgment Docket and Lien Section of the County Clerk of New York County is located in Room 109B in the basement at 60 Centre Street . This record will show, for instance, whether a lawsuit has been commenced that would affect title to real property, whether a lien has been filed against a property, or whether a judgment has been entered by the court. A Matrimonial Judgment Section is located in Room 141B in the basement at 60 Centre Street. This record will contain matrimonial judgments that have been issued by the court. But please note that matrimonial files, as pointed out above, are confidential under New York State law. Business filings are located in Room 109B.

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    Seal Your Divorce To Protect Your Privacy

    No divorce in New York will automatically be sealed away from the public. Also, there is nothing that guarantees a divorce can be sealed at all but it is something worth considering in each case all the same.

    The family law court that hears your divorce case could be convinced to seal the divorce record from the public, requiring any third party who views it to first need to gain the authority to do so, which often means getting a warrant. To get a record sealed, you and your spouse will both need to agree to seal it. If that can be done, then you might need to convince the court of the sealings necessity.

    Reasons a court might want to seal your divorce record could include:

    • Allegations or charges of child abuse.
    • Domestic violence was a deciding factor in the courts divorce orders.
    • Private financial information could be jeopardized by public exposure.

    If you want your record sealed just because you are ashamed of what occurred before and during your divorce, then the court will most likely not comply. The truth is most people have embarrassing moments surrounding a divorce and the court expects you to work that out on your own.

    New York State Vital Records

    The New York State Department of Health, Bureau of Vital Records provides birth and marriage records from 1881, death records from 1880 and divorce records from 1963. Divorce records are maintained for the entire state, including the five boroughs of New York City. New York State Vital Records does not maintain records filed in Albany, Buffalo or Yonkers prior to 1914. New York State does file birth records for Queens and Richmond counties for the years 1881 through 1897. Anyone may obtain records of births that occurred at least 75 years ago and records of marriages and deaths that occurred at least 50 years ago. Access to more recent records is restricted to immediate family members with proof of identity. The Department of Health adds index information only once a year.

    : As of June 2017, death indexes imaged from microfiche are available online at the Internet Archive. Images are browsable, not searchable.

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    Are Divorces Public Record In New York

    Most people do not want their neighbors, their friends, or even close family members knowing the details of their divorce. Unfortunately, that is a possibility for any divorce filed in New York.

    Due to the states underlying legislation regarding family law cases, each divorce is a matter of public record.

    Do you have questions about divorce records in New York? Are you in need of a divorce attorney? Contact us online or call 873-4410 today for a consultation at Friedman & Friedman PLLC, Attorneys at Law!

    Are Divorce Records Public In New York

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    Unlike some states, New York requiresdivorce records to be sealed. This means that only the former spouses orsomeone with a New York state court order can access those documents withproper identification, such as a drivers license, passport, or military ID. Ifthe former spouses are represented by attorneys, those attorneys can alsoaccess the divorce records.

    A Judgment of Divorce is the document signed by a judge which outlines the general terms of the parties divorce. A copy of the Judgment of Divorce can only be obtained from the Office of the County Clerk in the county in which the divorce was granted. You should check with your county clerk to get accurate information as to their procedure for obtaining this document. The Nassau County Clerk, for example, will provide the Judgment of Divorce only to the former spouses or their attorneys, with a valid government issued photo ID. The fee for a regular copy is .65 per page with a minimum of $1.30. The fee for a certified copy is $1.25 per page with a minimum of $5.00.

    Family Courthandles family law matters other than divorce. For general information aboutfuture appearance dates on active cases in Family Court, you can also performan online search using New York States WebFamily feature on the e-Courts page.You need to first have a docket or file number, attorney or firm name, or thejudges name and appearance date to access this information. Information onpast cases is not available.

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    Where To Find Divorce Records

    Divorce is the termination of the marital agreement between a couple and the end legally of their relationship as husband and wife. Whenever a divorce occurs, a record of the process is preserved. Divorce records consist of all documents relating to the separation of the involved parties. Most significantly, it includes the divorce decree, which contains the agreements between the couple on important issues relating to continuance of their relationship as parents, rights and obligations, financial arrangements and more. The divorce certificate also forms part of the record.

    In 2019, a Virginia judge temporary sealed the divorce records of Stephen Moore, President Trumps presumptive nominee for the Federal Reserve Board, during a legal dispute with his ex-wife.

    Courtesy of The New York Times

    How To Obtain Sealed Divorce Records

    Step 1: Establish a Compelling Reason

    Identify and present to the court, crucial and sufficient reasons for requesting sealed divorce records to be open. The judge has to be convinced that there is justification for unsealing the records. Follow applicable laws and guidelines.

    Step 2: Learn more about the Requirement

    Understand the legal requirement for unsealing court records in the State of interest. Under the California court rules and procedures for sealed records, the court may unseal divorce records on its own volition or prompted by a petition to do so. A person requesting the court to unseal records must file a notice or petition to unseal and serve the same to all parties in the case.

    Documents, motions, answers, and supporting documents relating to the request to unseal must be filed in a redacted or completely sealed version, in compliance with the sealing of the divorce documents. Once a divorce record is partially or fully sealed, all documents referring to it must be treated and documented in the same manner, with the same level of confidentiality as the sealed divorce records, until they are unsealed.

    It may be necessary to notarize the petition/motion, as the legal backing for the request. Presenting a valid and acceptable identification is very important.

    Step 3: Attend the Hearing

    Step 4: Review and Understand the Court Order

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    Filing For An Uncontested Divorce


    An uncontested divorce costs at least $335 in total court and filing fees. This does not include the cost of a lawyer, photocopies, notary fees, transportation, mailing, process server fees, etc. If there is an extreme financial hardship and you can’t file for a divorce without financial help, you can apply for a fee waiver for the court fees.

    New York Public Records

    New York State Public Records Online

    As a resident of the state of New York, you have a statutory right to inspect public records using the state’s Freedom of Information Law . There are no limitations on which members of the public can request records. This ensures that the various governmental bodies in the state operate in a transparent manner and can be kept accountable by the citizens of New York. The state also maintains other records on behalf of its residents which have some access restrictions. The following questions and answers cover the most common types of public records requests in the state.

    Are birth records public in New York?

    Where can you order a copy of a certified birth certificate in New York?

    Are adoption records public in New York?

    Are New York marriage records public?

    Where can you order a certified copy of a marriage license in New York?

    Are divorce records public in New York?

    Where can you order divorce decrees, certificates or records in New York?

    Are New York death records public?


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    Birth Death Marriage & Divorce Records


    For New York City records. New York County , Kings County , Bronx County , Richmond County , and Queens County , contact: New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene or New York City Marriage Bureau. One exception: DOH keeps divorce certificates for both New York State and New York City. Outside New York State:

    Why Do You Need Divorce Records

    While this sounds like a shady business at first glance, there are legitimate reasons for tracking down divorce records.

    Name Change:

    Following a divorce, many people want to distance themselves from their marriage. Name changes are common. In order to alter your name on a state-issued ID, the title of a vehicle, or the deed to a home, you may need a divorce certificate.


    Second marriages are also commonplace. You may need to show proof that youre no longer married to receive a marriage license. A divorce certificate offers one way to verify that fact.

    Researching Ancestry:

    Its easier than ever to go online and explore your family tree. Divorce records often form a substantial piece of peoples research into their lineage. You can trace distant relations, search for unknown relatives, and learn about the lives of various ancestors.

    Legal Matters:

    If your ex fails to abide by the terms of the settlement, you may need to take legal action. A divorce decree lays out the specifics of your split in explicit detail. Before taking legal action, its important to double-check the terms.

    While this is the type of document you should keep in a safe place, we know that doesnt always happen. Documents get lost and sometimes you need a new copy.

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    The Searchquarrycom Divorce Records Database

    In the SearchQuarry.com members area you will find our Vital Records section, and our divorce records search is in that section. Other vital records searches include birth records, death records, and marriage records. Other searches available in the members area include criminal records, court records, lien records, driving records, vehicle records, people search, background checks, and phone number lookups.

    Are Divorce Records Part Of The Public Record

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    Yes, divorce records are available to the public in the United States.

    Both marriage and divorce records are public information and, in theory, anyone whod like to see marriage and divorce records can view them. If divorce records were sealed by the judge presiding over the case, you probably wont be able to access them.

    Its possible to access anyones divorce records from a personal computer or through the states Vital Statistics and Records division . If you need divorce records in a hurry, using a private service to obtain them may be the fastest way to obtain them.

    You will need to know where the divorce occurred to retrieve the information. In many cases, you can get divorce records at little to no cost. Alternatively, a private database service or the state in which the divorce is registered may charge a fee. Heres more information about how to retrieve public divorce records:

    Access Public Divorce Records Directly from the County, State or District

    Before requesting divorce records, you will need to gather information about the divorced individuals. Know the full names of the people involved as well as the state and/or country in which the marriage was dissolved.

    If possible, obtain the individuals birth dates because its possible that other people sharing the same name have also obtained a divorce in the same jurisdiction.

    Access Public Divorce Records from a State Vital Records or Department of Health Office

    Easy and Affordable Divorce Records Access

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    How To Access New York Divorce Records Online

    The online portal for accessing divorce case files in New York is the New York State Department of Health online platform. This platform provides records of divorce case files in all 62 counties of New York. The information required to obtain a copy of a divorce record online include:

    • A $30 fee payable by credit card only
    • A $15 fee for priority handling
    • A $8 vendor processing fee
    • A valid photo-ID or copy of one
    • A proof of address or copy of one

    Should accessing or finding a record prove difficult, third party websites can help not only locate, but obtain a record in question. Note that records obtained in this way may not be considered official or certified, and record availability may vary from government sources.

    What Is A New York Divorce Certificate

    In the state of New York, divorce certificates are the most frequently requested out of the three types of records and contain the least amount of information. A divorce certificate contains general facts about the marriage and the divorce, such as the names of the parties involved and the date of the divorce. A divorce certificate is filed with the New York State Department of Health and is usually requested when one of the involved parties wants to obtain a new marriage certificate or wants to change their name. In New York, this document is considered a public record. It can be accessed by anyone online for viewing, but it can only be purchased by the parties or lawyers involved.

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    What Are Public Records

    Most documents filed to or created by a government agency are considered public documents. These include vital records , criminal records, court records, professional licenses , tax and property records, reports on publicly-traded companies, and FOIA or FOIL-able documents related to the operations of federal, state, and city government agencies .

    Access to public records varies from state to state, by the type of record you are searching, and by the currency or age of the record. In general, when it comes to vital records, older documents are more likely to be public, as in many states privacy laws restrict access to the vital and criminal records of living persons.

    Ease of access to public records also varies some are available online, while others are only available in hard copy and require the submission of a snail-mail request to the specific government office in which they were filed. For business, court, tax, and property records, more current documents may be easier to come by, as the are more likely to have been digitized.

    This page includes links to public record documents portals, as well as links to some commonly requested or NYC-specific agencies. For more information on filing a public records request from an agency that does not make its documents searchable online, see the FOIA and FOIL page of this guide.

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