How to look for records of... Divorces
How can I view the records covered in this guide?
1. What do I need to know before I start?
2. What records can I see online?
3. What records can I find at The National Archives at Kew?
4. What records can I find in other archives and organisations?
5. What other resources will help me find information?
6. Did you know?
The survival rate of divorce case files is:
- 1858-1927: almost 100%
- 1928-1937: 80%
- After 1937 : less than 0.2%
Before 1858, a full divorce required a private act of Parliament so the opportunity was only available to a few people.
Divorce case files can contain petitions, certificates, and copies of the decrees nisi and absolute.
decrees absolute give the names of the petitioner, respondent and (if applicable) corespondent and the date and place of the marriage.
The Supreme Court and some county courts grant divorces in England and Wales.
Until 1971 divorce by mutual consent was not allowed.