To find your divorce records for free in the UK, you can follow a few steps. Divorce records are typically held by the government, and accessing them may require some effort and paperwork. Here’s a detailed guide on how to go about it:
1. Identify the Court: The first step is to determine which court handled your divorce. Divorces in the UK are managed by various courts, depending on your location. If you don’t remember which court handled your case, you can contact the Principal Registry of the Family Division in London for assistance. Here’s their contact information:
Principal Registry of the Family Division
Address: First Avenue House, 42-49 High Holborn, London WC1V 6NP
Phone: +44 20 7421 8555
2. Gather Information: Before contacting the court, gather as much information as possible about your divorce, including:
- Full names of both parties involved (you and your ex-spouse)
- Date of the divorce
- Place of the divorce (county or town)
3. Contact the Relevant Court: Once you’ve identified the court that handled your divorce and have your information ready, contact the court either by phone or in writing. You may need to inquire about the process for obtaining divorce records. Provide them with all the details you have about your divorce.
4. Court Fees: Be aware that there may be fees associated with obtaining divorce records. The cost can vary depending on the court and the complexity of your request. If there are fees, inquire about the accepted payment methods and how much you need to pay.
5. Access to Records: In some cases, the court may provide you with access to your divorce records directly. They may send you a copy or allow you to view the records in person. Alternatively, they may redirect you to the National Records of Scotland or the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland, depending on where your divorce took place.
6. National Records of Scotland (If Applicable): If your divorce occurred in Scotland, you’ll need to contact the National Records of Scotland. Here’s their contact information:
National Records of Scotland
Address: HM General Register House, 2 Princes Street, Edinburgh EH1 3YY
Phone: +44 131 535 1314
7. Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (If Applicable): If your divorce happened in Northern Ireland, you should get in touch with the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland. Here’s their contact information:
Public Record Office of Northern Ireland
Address: 2 Titanic Boulevard, Titanic Quarter, Belfast, BT3 9HQ
Phone: +44 28 9025 5905
8. Online Databases: In some cases, you may find divorce records online. Websites like Ancestry.co.uk and Findmypast.co.uk may have historical divorce records. Click the links below for an exclusive free trial.
9. Access to Your Own Divorce Records: If you are looking for your own divorce records, the process should be relatively straightforward. However, if you’re trying to access someone else’s records, such as those of a family member, you may face more stringent requirements and may need their permission or a legal basis for access.
10. Legal Advice: If you encounter difficulties in obtaining your divorce records, consider seeking legal advice. A solicitor can help you navigate the process and any potential legal issues.
Remember that divorce records are confidential documents, and access may be restricted in some cases. It’s crucial to follow the proper procedures and provide accurate information when requesting these records. Additionally, be prepared for potential fees and processing times, as they can vary depending on the specific circumstances of your divorce.