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Divorce records Wales and England

ProfilePosted byOptionsPost Date


Agee Report 11 Feb 2021 18:07

Seeking details of 2 divorces: circa 1957 and 1977.
Are these records available to view on any online source?
Do I need to go via the courts service?


Kay???? Report 11 Feb 2021 18:27

These are not in the public domain,,,,,,you will need a solid valid reason to access these records and possibly then only through a law person,,,just for family history purposes is not a valid cause.


Agee Report 11 Feb 2021 21:44

Hi Kay, are you sure?

Just seen another post which suggests contacting the Court, and that they are available for a fee of £25. Double checking as I don't want to spend time searching for something I cannot access.


Kay???? Report 11 Feb 2021 23:42

Im sure unless its your own divorce and want copies you,then they are closed for 75 years in England/Wales,,....

sometimes they were published in a local newspaper that a divorce had been granted but full details wasnt published,---they were dealt with at a city crown court,


Agee Report 12 Feb 2021 08:56

Thank you for your help Kay.

Just completed some further research and it seems the decree absolute can be released - even for family history search. Details attached:


nameslessone Report 12 Feb 2021 09:52


But could turn out to be pretty expensive.


Kay???? Report 12 Feb 2021 15:31

The decree absolute/nisi is only proof that you are totally divorced and free to re-marry,this paper is often asked for when re-marrying.,,it gives nothing of the actual divorce.details.


Andysmum Report 12 Feb 2021 16:48

I have my parents' divorce papers, from 1951, in Cardiff.

Both the decree nisi and the decree absolute (not the same thing) show full details of the original marriage and the full names of both my parents and the co-respondent, and the cause of the divorce.

The only things missing on the decree absolute are the details of me and my sister, and what should happen to us!!


ErikaH Report 13 Feb 2021 10:29

But did you buy them? Or were they passed to you by a parent?


Andysmum Report 13 Feb 2021 12:20

They are the originals - my father's copy.

I think I read somewhere that many courts only kept divorce records for 30 years and then destroyed them, which might explain why they are so hard to get hold of.


ErikaH Report 13 Feb 2021 12:57

How do I apply for a search?
If you know the court where the divorce, dissolution or annulment took place
You must give the court your name, address and case number (if you know it). If you do
not know the case number, the court will search 5 years of records either side of the date
you believe the decree absolute/final order was pronounced. If you cannot provide this
date, the court will search the last 10 years of records. Please take care and ensure that
the names of parties are spelt correctly. An incorrect spelling may result in an unsuccessful
search. If you have a solicitor applying on your behalf please give your solicitor’s name and
For contact details of all our courts, visit
The court will send you a copy of a decree absolute or final order by post.
If you know the case number, the fee for this search is £10.
If you do not know the case number, the fee for this search is £45 for every 10 years of
records searched. Even if you know the exact date, the fee still £45.
Details on how this fee can be paid can be found on page 4.


nameslessone Report 14 Feb 2021 10:27

If you don’t know which Court and need a search of the index it will cost a whopping £65.


ErikaH Report 17 Feb 2021 15:10

The survival rate of divorce case files is:

1858-1927: almost 100%
1928-1937: 80%
After 1937: less than 0.2%