Like any other States in the US, Divorce Records California is considered as public records. This means that the records are available for the public and anyone can request for the records. There are however two types of divorce records available for request – authorized and informational copy and it is best to determine if one is eligible for which type of record.

Authorized copies and informational ones are the same as they contain the same details including the registrants, the date the divorce was filed and the county where the divorce was granted. The difference is that informational copies cannot be used as valid documents and are issued for information purposes only. Authorized copies on the other hand are legal documents and can serve as supporting documents especially if one is requesting for child support or spousal support. Authorized copies are available only for the spouse or domestic partners, an adoption agency, parents of the divorced couples and their kids. A statement stating that the informational copy is not a valid document is printed below the divorce report.

For those who want to obtain a copy only, they can visit the California Department of Public Health or CDPH Vital Records section. The Vital records office does not issue marriage and divorce certified copies; they can however issue a Certificate of Record. The Certificate of Record contains a summary of the case, the parties involved and the county that granted the divorce. Certificates of Records do not include the decision with regards to the case. For those who need a certified copy, they can visit the California Superior Court or the Superior Court of the County where the divorce was granted. Available records from the CDPH range from 1962 to 1984; the rest of the records are available from the Superior court.

For those individuals who only require some information, they can request for a Certificate of Record from CDPH. A downloadable guide or pamphlet is available from the CDPH site, which contains a systematic guide as well as a request form that one needs to fill up and send to the Vital Records office. All fees are non-refundable and in case no records are shown, a Certificate of No Public Records is issued. The Office accepts only checks and money order only. Processing can exceed 6 months depending on the volume of requests received.

Those who want a certified copy of their divorce can do so by making a mail request to the California Superior Court. One can also make an in person request, as the court does not accept phone requests. Fees vary from one county to another. In Alameda County for example, a divorce record search of more than 15 minutes will cost one $15. Certified copies of the divorce report also cost $15. For those who are on a tight budget, they can do an in person search and check out the records themselves. For a more convenient and hassle-free record search, one can check out online sites that do offer public records searches. This is the most convenient way for one to get hold of records without having to wait for the processing time that requesting from the county court needs.

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