How to Get a Copy of a Divorce Decree in Maryland
By Elaine Pratt
Updated July 21, 2017
man and woman divorced image by Ivonne Wierink from Fotolia.com
A certified copy of a Maryland divorce decree can only be issued by the circuit court of the locality in which the divorce wise filed. However, it is possible to obtain a verification of divorce through the state’s Division of Vital Records. The verification includes the names of the divorcees, the locality the divorce was filed in, the date the divorce decree was finalized, and type of divorce action. Essentially, the divorce verification shows that the parties are divorced, but doesn’t give the details of the divorce included in the certified copy of the divorce decree.
Obtaining a Certified Copy of a Maryland Divorce Decree
Locate the contact information for the circuit court in the locality in which the divorce was granted (see link in Resources section below for a list of Maryland counties and their contact information.) Most localities have information available online about requesting certified copies of divorce decrees.
Contact the circuit court by mail to obtain a copy of a divorce decree. Typically, certified copies can be received the same day in most localities, provided that the person requesting the decree has appropriate ID and permission (requests must be made by one of the divorcees, or a representative authorized in writing to do so). Fees for certified copies of divorce decrees vary depending on the county, but a typical range is $10 to $20 per copy.
Go in person to the circuit court that handled the divorce.
Obtaining a Divorce Verification from the State of Maryland
Check to see if the divorce was granted on or after January 1, 1992. The Division of Vital Records only has records from January 1, 1992 to the present. For previous years, contact the circuit court that issued the divorce using the instructions from the previous section.
Print out a copy and complete the application for divorce verification (see the link in Resources section).
Make a copy of the front and back of your state or federal government-issued photo ID. Using a photo ID will allow the verification to be issued immediately.
Use an alternative form of ID. Any two of the following forms may be used instead of a photo ID: pay stub; current vehicle registration; bank statement; letter from a government agency; lease/rental agreement; utility bill with current address; copy of income tax return or W-2 form.
When using any of the above in place of a photo ID, at least one of these items must contain a current mailing address. Divorce verifications applied for with the alternative ID documents will be mailed to the current mailing address on the documents.
Mail the proper documents. Make sure to include the following: Check or money order for $12, payable to Maryland Division of Vital Records; Divorce decree application; Photocopy of picture ID; Self addressed stamped envelope.
Send the documents to: Division of Vital Records P.O. Box 68760 Baltimore, MD 21215
Items you will need
$10 to $20 fee for divorce decree or divorce verification
Self addressed stamped envelope
Valid state or government issued photo ID (or suitable substitute)
Only divorcees or a representative for a divorcee can apply for verification of a divorce in Maryland. If a representative is applying for the verification, he must have a notarized copy of a letter from at least one of the divorcees. A court of law can also apply for a verification of divorce.
Elaine Pratt started her freelance writing career in 2000 and since has gained extensive experience writing on real estate, home and garden, and business-related topics. Elaine writes for personal blogs and private clients including eHow and Garden Guides. Pratt holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of Illinois.