How Do I Find My Divorce Records for Free UK

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Divorce records can be invaluable as they capture critical details about the legal proceedings and the parties involved. The government maintains these records, which can be requested by individuals involved in the divorce. 

This article will explore different methods of getting divorce records in England and Wales and the fees involved in the process.

Can I Find My Divorce Records for Free?

It is usually not possible to find your divorce records for free. Accessing these records often involves some costs, as they are typically held by government bodies that charge fees for searching and issuing official copies. The sections below discuss the details and specific costs of obtaining divorce records. 

How Do I Find My Divorce Records in the UK?

Accessing divorce records in the UK can vary based on whether you know the court where the proceedings occurred.

If You Know the Court and Case Number

Obtaining the records can be straightforward if you know the court where your divorce was completed and have the case number. 

You can use an online search on the Gov.UK website to find the contact details of the court where your divorce was finalised. Once you have the necessary information, you can contact the court, typically via email or post, providing:

  • The case number or reference associated with your divorce.
  • Your full name and address.
  • Willingness to pay the service fee of £11

You can pay through cheque, postal order, or credit/debit card. After your request is processed and the fee is paid, the court will send you a copy of your divorce record. This process is generally efficient, allowing you to receive your documents promptly, usually within a week.

Read also: Successful Co-Parenting Strategies After Divorce in the UK

If You Don’t Know the Case Number

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Are Divorce Records Public in the UK?

The accessibility of divorce records in the UK varies depending on the specific documents in question. The final order of divorce, known historically as the decree absolute, is the only document classified as a public record. All other documents related to the divorce process remain confidential.

This document finalises the dissolution of marriage and includes basic but important details such as the names of ex-partners, the date and location of the wedding, and the court that granted the divorce.

Importantly, the final order does not disclose sensitive information such as financial settlements, child custody arrangements, or other personal data. Contacting UK divorce solicitors can help you navigate these complexities and ensure your rights are protected. 

The privacy of these records is safeguarded under family law and specific statutes of the UK, including various Acts of Parliament that govern matrimonial causes and the privacy of individuals involved in such proceedings.

What If I Don’t Know the Court and Case Number?

If you are unable to recall or find divorce court details and the case number, you can still retrieve them through the Central Family Court in the UK.

You can use ‘Form D440: Request for Search for Divorce Decree Absolute,’ which asks for specific details to facilitate the search:

  • Full names of the petitioner and the respondent involved in the divorce.
  • Any other individuals named in the divorce proceedings (co-respondents).
  • Dates of the marriage and when divorce was granted.
  • The approximate date or year the divorce petition was filed.
  • Any known court details or case number, if available.
  • Dates or years related to the decree nisi and the decree absolute.

The cost for this service is £65. 

Contact Details of Central Family Court

  • Mail: Send the filled form to – Central Family Court, First Avenue House, 42-49 High Holborn, London WC1V 6NP
  • Email: Queries and electronic submissions can be addressed to Cfc.decreeabsolute@justice.gov.uk.

Upon successful search, the Central Family Court will give a certificate of search with your divorce information within 10 working days. If the search fails to locate your records, you will receive your application back along with an explanation within the same timeframe.

Related: How Many Marriages End in Divorce in the UK?

Once you obtain the necessary details from this search, such as the case number and specific court, you can request a copy of your absolute or final decree order. 

Contact Our Family Lawyers

Our expert and experienced family solicitors can assist you through the complexities of divorce proceedings. With a profound familiarity with family law, we offer personalised guidance to protect your interests during this challenging time.

Whether you need assistance with financial settlements, child custody arrangements, or any other divorce-related matters, we are here to support and represent you effectively. Contact us today to learn how we can help.

FAQs

In the UK, you cannot typically view complete divorce records online for free. You will need to pay a small fee to search for this record. 

If you know your divorce’s case number and court details, the most cost-effective way is to contact the court where the divorce was finalised. The standard fee is £11 for this.

If you do not remember the court or case number, you can submit a request for a search through the Central Family Court, which has a fee of £65. You must provide as much information as possible about the divorce, including names and dates, to facilitate the search.

The timeframe to obtain divorce records can vary depending on your chosen process. If you request a copy of your decree absolute and you have all the necessary details, it typically takes about 7 to 10 working days to receive it. 

The decree absolute contains basic information such as the names of both parties involved, the court in which the divorce was granted, the date of the marriage, and the date the divorce was finalised.

Ask our Expert Legal Team

At Gulbenkian Andonian, we pride ourselves on “Excellence, Experience and Efficiency”. With over 35 years of experience on your side, our team of London based lawyers and solicitors have a wealth of experience advising individuals, families and businesses of all sizes to find clarity on UK law.

Call us on +44 (0) 207 269 9590 or fill out the form below. We usually reply within a few hours.

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