Geeky folks may actually find it rewarding to be able to retrieve Public Divorce Records free of charge from state agencies but the majority of us are not likely to be cut out for the task. In itself, government sources for public information has always tend to be a test of patience, not least if you're researching State Divorce Records and all the more so if you are attempting to extract California Divorce Records in particular from the Office of Vital Records of California.
In 2007, day-to-day operations at the former California Department of Health Services (CHDS) were reorganized under two new departments namely the Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) and the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) purportedly to better serve the community. Public records went under the charge of the CDPH. This service is offered through their Vital Records Office which reports into the Certificate and Licenses Unit.
The Vital Records of California can only issue Certificates of California County Divorce Records that occurred between 1962 and June 1984. For divorces that date outside this time window, the records are only available at the very county offices where the divorce proceedings were heard or through non-governmental sources. This is quite disappointing for a state like California. The state is also one of the 4 states that do not keep track of its number of divorces. The other 3 are Colorado, Indiana and Louisiana.
For all practical purposes, a Certificate of Record on divorce is only a gateway document at best. The information that is presented on it consists of just the names of the divorcing couple, the county at which the divorce is filed and the assigned court case number. It does not even indicate if the subject divorce was ever finalized in the courts. On top of it, the waiting period could stretch up to 3 years although the quoted average processing time is 6 months and a fee of $13 is charged.
The centre stage of California Divorce Records is the California Divorce Decrees. They can be obtained solely from the Superior Court in the county where the divorce was filed and granted. Besides the basic information pertaining to the divorce, it is to principally state the settlement ruling of the separation such as asset division, alimony and children custody, support and visitation. All divorces, contested or uncontested and fault or no-fault will be issued with an official decree upon its finalization by the courts.
Free Divorce Records are often intertwined with marriage records, be they public or private source. Even in some official contexts, the terms 'divorce' and 'marriage dissolution' are interchangeably employed. This is because these two categories of public records are intrinsically connected. As such, it's common for divorce records to be produced as related information in a marriage records search and vice-versa. Some commercial record providers offer them in 2-in-1 package.
With a population of 36 million and 58 counties, it can get laborious contending with government procedures in a California Divorce Records Search. Fortunately, unlike state repositories which are not linked, commercial databases are crossed and networked. That makes life a whole lot easier for people searching for State Of California Divorce Records. They come in particularly handy in certain states where this public service is slack which California is clearly one in this regard.