Vital documents such as divorce certificates are generally open to the public. Anyone with the appropriate credentials and the proper requirements can submit their requests and eventually get access to the documents they need, whether it’s a death report or a divorce decree. In the Prairie State, these kinds of documents are the responsibility of the Illinois Department of Public Health. Its Division of Vital Records maintains a huge collection of vital reports, including Divorce Decrees Illinois that dates back to January of 1962. Sadly, certified copies of divorce certificates are not available at this office.
The Illinois Department of Public Health can only verify marriage and divorce documents. Applicants will only get verifications for divorce and marital reports they requested. The state’s Department of Public Health is only authorized to disseminate certified copies of birth and death reports. But even if you will only get a verification letter for the divorce certificate you want, you will still be charged a five dollar fee for every name searched. Fees should be made payable to the state office, in the form of a certified check, personal check, or money order.
If you are after a certified copy of a divorce certificate, then you should visit or call the Clerk of Circuit Court or the county clerk’s office in the county where the divorce was granted. Try to find someone in the office to help you with the proper procedures in requesting a certified copy of the document. Figure out the requirements and the current fees, especially since each county has different procedures, requirements and application charges. And always remember to comply with the policies put forth by the county office to avoid any complications later on.
A good alternative source for vital documents, especially the older ones, is the Illinois State Archives. The Illinois Regional Archives Depository, IRAD for short, maintains divorce indexes much older than those available at the state or county offices. This is actually the perfect information resource for people conducting genealogy research or those doing marital history research on their ancestors. You should visit or contact the state archives office for more details on what kind of records they house in their database.
For background research purposes, on the other hand, an online information resource is a much more convenient and practical option. There are quite a few online record retrieval services available that is capable of disseminating comprehensive vital record data. Reputable online record providers can offer unrestricted and unlimited access to an extensive database of birth certificates, death reports, marriage licenses, and divorce decrees. All you will need is a working computer and an Internet connection.
Choosing to go with a record search website will only cost you a small one-time membership fee. You will need to complete a short registration process. But once the registration is completed, you can start running searches on any vital report you want. If you wish to access the divorce records of the person you are currently dating, for instance, all you need to do is type in his name and the state where he previously resided. With this kind of service, you can expect quick and comprehensive results and no additional fees or waiting periods.