Indiana divorce decrees are not accessible to the public. They must be requested by divorce parties, divorce lawyers, or an officer of the court.
Getting a Copy of a Divorce Decree
Indiana divorce records are considered court records kept on file as official documents. There are three ways that the court registers divorce records – divorce certificates, divorce decrees, and divorce records. These types of records contain personal information on finances, child custody, and criminal matters pertaining to a couple’s divorce.
Under Indiana Public Records Law, divorce records are available to the public for viewing unless they are sealed. However, they may be more difficult to access without court approval, because they contain a lot of personal information. In some cases, parties involved in the divorce may request that the judge limits access to portions of the records.
What is a Divorce Decree
A divorce decree contains all the information that is found in a divorce certificate, but it is more difficult to access. When a divorce decree is requested, it is usually due to divorce parties wishing to make changes to the original documents. Changes generally address issues with estate planning, property ownership, financial assets, alimony, child support, child custody, or scheduled payment arrangements. A divorce decree is usually requested when divorce parties want to challenge the existing terms in the decree.
Obtaining a copy of an Indiana divorce decree requires a party to have court approval or legal assistance from a divorce lawyer or a court official. Copies may be obtained in person from the Court Clerk’s Office in the county where the divorce was finalized, or by mail, but they are not available online. Parties must fill out a request form and provide the following information:
- Full name of the requesting party
- Valid forms of identification
- Divorce case number
- Filing date of divorce
- Finalized date of divorce
- Personal contact information
To avoid problems with court records, it is helpful to obtain legal assistance from an Indiana divorce lawyer, especially if a divorce decree is sealed to protect personal information, a criminal history, or was filed many years prior to the request. A lawyer is regarded as a legal entity of the court, so he/she will be granted easier access to divorce decrees and other court records. A lawyer can provide legal guidance with changes to the original divorce decree and refile proper documents with the court in a timely manner.