Steps in Retrieving Divorce Judgments from New York City Courts

It is a well-known fact that nearly 50 percent of marriages in America end in divorce. Divorces in New York, in particular, went up by 7.69 percent from 2009 to 2020 — a stark contrast from the national rate, which decreased by 19.55 percent.

With many couples filing for divorce in New York, a big number of the population will need to retrieve their divorce judgment and other records at some point. These documents are considered public record and are technically available to anyone via public record websites, such as the New York State Records website.

Getting access to divorce records, however, is a little more difficult than obtaining other types of public records. It’s because divorce records contain personal information, including the names of minor children and accounts of domestic abuse.

If it’s your first time to retrieve divorce judgments from NYC courts, we recommend obtaining it through professional document retrieval services like what we offer at Serve Index.

How to Obtain NYC Divorce Judgments

The divorce judgment or divorce decree is the document the court prepares after the judge has made a final ruling. It contains the details about the terms and conditions of the divorce and signed by the judge. The court mails the divorce judgment to both parties and files the documents with the County Clerk.


Ex-spouses can obtain copies of their divorce decree from the County Clerk anytime. However, only either spouse and individuals with an NYC State Court Order are eligible to get a copy of a divorce certificate.


Anyone requesting divorce records must provide the following:

  • Case index number
  • Record filing date
  • Names of the parties involved
  • The type of record requested (e.g., divorce certificate, decree, or case file)

divorce concept

Retrieval Methods

There are two ways to retrieve divorce records in NYC: requesting in person and requesting by mail.

  1. In-person – Visit the Court Clerk’s office in the courthouse where your divorce hearing took place. The records of divorces in some NY counties are available in the Office of the County Clerk. For counties whose clerk’s office cannot provide the documents, ex-spouses may request in person at any valid New York State Department of Health (NYSDH) office.
  2. By Mail – Go to the NYSDH website and download the form to request divorce records. Fill them out and mail them to the address indicated on the website. There may be handling fees and other payments required, like priority handling and processing fee per copy. Include a check and money order in the mail, or use the other forms of payment provided on the site.

How to Retrieve Divorce Decrees in New York

Retrieving a divorce decree in New York can be done by contacting the County Clerk where the divorce was granted. The court will have a record of the divorce decree and can provide a certified copy for a fee.

It’s worth noting that divorce records are not public records in New York, which means they can’t be accessed online or through a third-party provider. The only way to get a copy of a divorce decree is to contact the court directly.

You’ll need to provide information like the names of the parties involved in the divorce, the date of the divorce, and the case number. Once you have this information, you should be able to request a copy of the divorce decree.

Another primary requirement is providing identification. Courts will generally require one of the following valid photo ID:

  • A New York State driver’s license
  • A non-driver photo ID card issued by the NYS DMV
  • A passport
  • A military photo ID card

If you don’t have any of these forms of identification, you can still get a copy of your divorce decree, but you’ll need to provide two documents showing the applicant’s name and address, such as:

  • Utility bills
  • Telephone Bills
  • Letter from a government agency (dated within the last six months)

Once you have the required information and identification, you can contact the County Clerk’s Office to request a copy of your divorce decree. The office will likely have a form that needs to be completed, and there may be a fee for the service.

Hire Court Document Retrieval Experts at Serve Index

It’s possible to obtain divorce records on your own, but the process may take a good chunk of your time. You might also be unaware of new regulations in the retrieval process that are not yet common knowledge.

We make it our job to know about all of these developments at Serve Index. Furthermore, we have professional process servers who know the different processes of retrieving all kinds of court documents, including divorce records.

Have your records retrieved by professionals — quickly and without hassle — through Serve Index. Contact us today.

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