Florida divorce records are maintained by each individual county. Therefore, in order to obtain these records, you must go to the court house in the county in which the divorce occurred. If divorce proceedings began in one county, but ended in another, then the county in which the final divorce decree was granted will be the place where you’ll find the record. You’ll want to go to the main county court house and head for the civil records section to find what you want.
Unlike other records, Florida does not allow the full text of divorce documents to be made available online. You can usually find an index to the divorce on the county’s clerk of the court website, but you’ll need to go there in person to get the whole thing.
In most cases, Florida divorce records are available at the court house as soon as the divorce is finalized. After 60 days, a copy of the record is sent to the Office of Vital Statistics in Jacksonville. Once the Office of Vital Statistics has a record, you can order it directly from there, in writing. The cost is $5 per divorce record, and $4 each for additional copies of the same record. Anyone can order a divorce record in Florida–you don’t have to be named in the record or related to anyone named in it.
You’ll need to include the name of the husband in the divorce case in your request letter, since these records are indexed under the husband’s name. You should include as much additional information about the divorce as you have, including the wife’s name and maiden name, the date of the divorce, and the county in which it occurred. Be sure to include your own name, mailing address, and telephone number in your request.
You can write to the Office of Vital Statistics at the following address:
Office of Vital Statistics
1217 N. Pearl St., Jacksonville, FL 32202
Phone: (904) 359-6900
The Office of Vital Statistics has divorce records from June 6, 1927 to the present. For records that are older than that, you’ll have to deal strictly with the county in which the event took place. The maximum age of divorce records you may be able to find will vary by county, with some counties keeping records going all the way back to the 1850′s, while others may only have records from the early 1900′s.
Florida counties also keep copies of divorce records that have been sent to the Office of Vital Statistics, so you can always go to the county for any record, no matter when the divorce was granted. Each county charges its own particular fees for copies, which may be more or less than what you’d pay to the Office of Vital Statistics. Remember, Florida divorce records are considered public records, so you’re entitled to a copy, no matter who you are. If any court clerk tells you otherwise, ask to speak to their supervisor, and you’ll soon get the record you need.
You can also find divorce records online through record search services. These are convenient, cost-effective options for many people, especially if you have a lot of records you need to look up, or don’t want to take the time to drive to a distant court house.