Ways & How

how to find out if divorce papers have been filed

how to find out if divorce papers have been filed

Divorce is a lawsuit that requires the complaining spouse to notify the other spouse. Many people have asked how to find out if divorce papers have been filed since they want to prepare themselves for the trial date. If your spouse informed you that he or she has filed for marriage dissolution, you would want to know if the court received a copy. To find out if the divorce information has been filed in court, you will need to do some research. Here’s how.

  1. Ask your spouse. If you suspect that your spouse has filed for marriage dissolution, it is fair that you inquire about it. Once you have confirmed that indeed a divorce case is already in court, you will eventually receive a certified copy of the case either by personal delivery by a court officer or through mail. Review your mail every day to verify if the documents have arrived. There may be summons in your mailbox. If there are, you have at least 30 days to find a lawyer and start preparing for the initial court trial.

  2. Check out or call the Office of the County Clerk.

    Divorce information becomes a public document once it is filed in court, and therefore accessible for verification by the parties involved. On the phone, give the clerk of court exact details, such as the name and residential address of your spouse. To secure a copy of the divorce information, you will have to personally visit the clerk’s office or send an attorney to act on your behalf.

  3. Prepare a minimal fee. Getting a copy of the divorce papers is usually for a fee of $5 to $25. The copying charges vary depending on the court policies and procedures. The clerk of court will either give you extra copies or give you the file copies and you can reproduce them yourself. Don’t forget to prepare your identification card to prove that you are an interested party to the divorce case.

  4. Call a divorce lawyer. Since divorce is a legal proceeding, it is advisable that you engage the services of a divorce lawyer to assist you from the start until the ordeal is finished. Necessarily, there are legal pleadings and court procedures that only lawyers can efficiently attend to. Of course, this entails expense on your part since you have to pay the attorney’s fee, including the court dockets and fees.

    At any rate, calling a divorce lawyer is more beneficial than doing the job yourself. Your lawyer is more conversant and familiar about court processes and procedures. You will need your lawyer throughout the trial to ensure that your rights as an interested party are legally enforced and protected.

  5. Call the divorce lawyer of your spouse. This is a permissible move since you are an interested party to the case. However, you cannot expect that the opposing lawyer will honor your request to have a copy of the divorce papers. He or she can refuse, especially if you are requesting documents like the exchange of messages or letters between your spouse and that divorce lawyer. He or she may tell you to send your divorce lawyer instead.

When people get married, they believe that it will be forever. While others are able to overcome the tests of time, there are also couples who end up going through a painful divorce proceeding. What makes the ordeal more hurtful is the fact that a divorce case is often a surprise to the other spouse. However, once you know how to find out if divorce papers have been filed, you will no longer be taken by surprise.


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