How to Find Divorce Records in Massachusetts




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Divorce Records Massachusetts




Massachusetts Divorce Records

Locating Divorce Records in Massachusetts

Regulated by the state, divorces are filed and finalized at the local county courts. Therefore, whenever someone is searching for copies of divorce records, they should begin their search at the local county courthouse where the divorce was filed. Typically, the divorce records will be available at the Prothonotary Court House Office, if there is one.

If the individual searching for the divorce records does not know the county, they may try contacting their state office to see if they maintain a state repository for divorce records. If they do, then a search can begin there. Additionally, a search for current and past spouses can be extremely helpful in attaining the addresses of spouses. The county can then be discovered and the proper search can begin.

Since searches must take place at the local county courthouse, a search for divorce records can be quite extensive and costly when there are multiple spouses and the county of the divorces is unknown. Moreover, this type of search can be lengthy in time.

It is important to note that certified copies of divorce decrees are only available from the local county courthouse. The state offices will only release uncertified copies.

In general, a divorce record search will take anywhere form two to ten days. The completeness of the information provided is a major factor in determining this. The size of the office, as well as the number of staff, may also play a part in the length of time taken to complete the search. Most genealogical searches will take quite a bit longer due to the additional searching required.

Following the guidelines set forth here will produce a more efficient and timely search.

1. Print or type each name and address clearly to avoid confusion. This includes the full name of both the husband and the wife. The maiden name should be included for the wife.
2. Keep your request brief and to the point.
3. Limit your request to one document.
4. Include the full names of the individuals, including nicknames and alternate spellings that may have been used.
5. Include the full address of the individual at the time of the divorce, including street, city or town, and state. If you know the county in which the divorce took place, include that as well.
6. Include the date that the divorce was finalized. If you do not have this piece of information available, include a time frame for the search. Generally, it is best to specify a short span of years for an unknown year search. You can always expand the number of years that you search, and a shorter span will lead to a shorter search. You can expect to pay an additional fee for searches such as this that require more effort.
7. Include contact information where you can be reached in the event that more information is required. Include a daytime, as well as an evening telephone number. You may also include a fax number or an e-mail address.
8. You should include your relationship to the individualís listed in your search request.
9. You should include the purpose of your request.
10. Print your name clearly and sign your request. Some states may also require additional identifying information on you as well, including a driverís license number.
11. Include a SASE, or self addressed stamped envelope with your request for a speedier delivery.
12. Include the date that you mail your request with your correspondence.

A list of the local county courthouses is provided her in alphabetical order.

Addresses for Massachusettsís county courthouses:

Commonwealth of Massachusetts
Massachusetts Registry of Vital Records and Statistics
150 Mount Vernon Street, 1st floor
Dorchester, MA 02125-3105
Telephone: (617) 740-2600
Fax: (617) 825-7755

The Massachusetts Archives at Columbia Point
220 Morrissey Boulevard
Boston, MA 02125
Telephone: (617) 727-2816
FAX: (617) 288-8429

Barnstable County
Barnstable County Clerk
3195 Main St., Rm 6A
Barnstable, MA 02630-3195
Telephone: (508) 362-2511

Berkshire County
Berkshire County Clerk
44 Bank Row
Pittsfield, MA 01201-6202
Telephone: (413) 442-6202

Bristol County
Bristol County Clerk
11 Court St.
P.O. Box 567
Taunton, MA 02780-3223
Telephone: (508) 824-4004

Essex County
Essex County Clerk
36 Federal St.
Salem, MA 01970
Telephone: (978) 741-0200 x250

Franklin County
Franklin County Clerk
425 Main Street
Greenfield, MA 01301-3313
Telephone: (413) 774-7011

Hampden County
Hampden County Clerk
50 State St.
Springfield, MA 01102-2027
Telephone: (413) 748-7759

Hampshire County
Hampshire County Clerk
33 King St.
Northampton, MA 01060-3236
Telephone: (413) 584-8500

Middlesex County
Middlesex County Registrar of Probate
P.O. Box 410480
208 Cambridge St
Cambridge, MA 02141
Telephone: (617) 768-5850

Nantucket County
Nantucket County Clerk
16 Broad St.
Nantucket, MA 02554-3500
Telephone: (508) 228-2669

Norfolk County
Norfolk County Clerk
649 High St.
Dedham, MA 02026-1831
Telephone: (781) 326-7200

Plymouth County
Plymouth County Clerk
Russell St
Plymouth, MA 02360
Telephone: (781) 747-6204

Suffolk County
Suffolk County Clerk
City Hall
Room 601
Boston, MA 02101-1706
Telephone: (617) 788-8300

Worcester County
Worcester County Probate Court Clerk
2 Main Street
Worcester, MA 01608-1116
Telephone: (508) 770-0825

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