How to Get a Copy of Divorce Papers

If you’ve lost your divorce papers, or you don’t think you were ever given an original certificate, it is possible to apply for a new copy.

There are different ways to do this depending on the information you have. And this will also impact on the costs involved.

If you know your divorce case number, getting a copy of your papers will cost around £10. But if you don’t, it could cost as much as £65 for the courts to search through a 10-year period.

It is worth noting that it’s only possible to get a copy of a final order (previously the decree absolute) after your divorce has been finalised. You cannot ask the court for a copy of the conditional order (formerly the decree nisi) or the divorce application itself.

Getting a copy of your divorce papers if you have a case number

If you’d like to receive a copy of your divorce papers and you know your case number, you should:

  1. Send a letter or email to the court that dealt with your divorce. You can use the government’s court finder tool if you’re not sure which court to contact.
  2. Tell them your name and address, case number and how you’d like to pay. If you choose to pay by debit or credit card, make sure to include your phone number as the court will call you to take the payment.
  3. Send your payment by debit or credit card, cheque or postal order. Any cheques paid should be made out to ‘HM Courts & Tribunals Service’.

You should receive a copy of your divorce certificate or final order within a week of your payment.

How to get a copy of divorce papers without a case number

If you no longer have your documents, you might not know your divorce case number.

In this instance, you’ll need to get in touch with the court and tell them the date you believe your divorce was finalised. They’ll then search their records from the years surrounding this date to try and find your case.

If your case can’t be found initially, the court will search the previous 10 years of records. For every 10 years searched there is a further fee. Because of this, we’d encourage you to be as accurate as you can with the date you provide.

What to do if you don’t know which court to contact

If you’ve forgotten which court handled your divorce, you can still replace the papers through the Central Family Court.

Using form D440, you’ll need to inform the court of the date you think you were handed your final order or decree absolute.

They will search their records over a 10-year period to find your case details. But when you go down this route, there will be a £65 fee for each decade of records searched.

If you choose to pay by cheque or postal order, you should send the form with the cheque/postal order to the address listed on the form.

Or if you’d rather pay by debit or credit card, you’ll need to email the form to the Central Family Court, which should then allow you to pay the fee directly over the phone.

Do you need help with a divorce?

If you’re looking for help at any stage of a divorce, our experienced family law solicitors are here to provide support.

You can find out more about the services we offer by getting in touch with our friendly advisors. We’ll do our best to answer any questions you may have before putting you in contact with a specialist lawyer.

To reach us, give us a call, request a callback or enquire online.

Get in touch today to discuss your requirements 08005677866

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