At the end of the divorce process, you and your ex-partner will have been sent either a decree absolute (for applications issued before 6th April 2022) or a final order (for applications issued on or after 6th April 2022) by the court that handled your matter.
Receiving a decree absolute or final order marks a significant point for both parties as it signifies that you are no longer married or in a civil partnership, and you are free to enter into a new legal partnership. If you have not received or you cannot find your decree absolute or final order, it is possible to request a copy from HM Courts & Tribunals Service. Here we will explain how to get a copy of your divorce certificate in three scenarios;
1) If you know the case number and court that handled your matter.
2) If you know the court but not the case number.
3) If you cannot find both the court and case number.
How To Request A Copy Of Your Decree Absolute Or Final Order
If you are not able to find your divorce documents, the process of securing a copy is very straightforward. This is especially so if you know the court and case number relating to your divorce proceedings.
If you know the case number and court name
In this situation, all that you need to do is find the contact details of the court by performing an online search and then send them an email or letter with:
- your name and address
- the case number/reference for your divorce
- whether you want to pay the fee of £11 by cheque, postal order, credit, or debit card – if you wish to pay by card, you need to provide your phone number, and a representative of the court will contact you to make the payment.
If You Know The Court Name But Not The Case Number
If you cannot find the case number for your divorce, but you know the court, you can still request a copy of your decree absolute or final order. The cost is slightly higher, however, at £45 to perform a search of the divorce records for the past ten years. In this situation, you will need to send an email or letter to the court (you can find the details of the court by using the online search link above) containing:
- your name and address
- the date when you think your divorce was handled by the court
- whether you want to pay the fee of £45 by cheque, postal order, credit, or debit card
On receipt of your application, the court will perform a search of their divorce records spanning five years before and five years after the date you provided.
Requesting A Central Search Of Your Divorce Details
If you cannot find the details of the court that handled your divorce, you can request that the Central Family Court perform a search for you. To do so, you will need to print and complete ‘Form D440: Request for Search for Divorce Decree Absolute’ with the following information:
- Full name of the person who applied for the divorce
- Full name of the person who replied to the divorce application
- Full name of any other person named on the divorce (called a co-respondent)
- Date of marriage
- Date of separation
- Date or year the divorce petition was filed
- Court details, if known
- Case number, if known
- Date or year of decree nisi
- Date or year of decree absolute
- Payment method and phone number if paying by card
- Name/address/contact number.
The fee for this national search service is £65.
Letters must be sent to:
Central Family Court
First Avenue House
42-49 High Holborn
The email address of the Central Family Court is [email protected]
The Central Family Court advises that if your search is successful, you can expect to receive a certificate of search with details of your divorce within ten working days. If it has not been possible to find the details of your divorce, your application will be returned with an explanation of why within ten working days.
It is important to note that the Central Family Court search will only provide you with the details you need to request a copy of your decree absolute or final order. Once you have the case number and court details, you can order a copy of your decree absolute or final order using the process above.
Losing an important document such as a marriage, birth, or divorce certificate can cause worry and distress. Thankfully, it is easy and fast to order a replacement in this situation, even if you cannot find any records, correspondence, or reference numbers relating to your divorce or civil dissolution.
The family law team at Pearcelegal has the experience and legal expertise to advise and represent you with any divorce or dissolution matter. To make an appointment with our divorce solicitors solihull, please contact us on 0121 270 2700 or enquire through our contact form.
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