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Divorce decree

You can get a copy of your divorce papers from the court where the divorce or civil partnership dissolution was processed. Alternatively you can contact the Central Index of Decrees Absolute.

Contacting the Central Index of Divorce Decrees Absolute

The Central Index keeps records of all decrees absolute (divorce papers and civil partnership dissolutions) granted in England and Wales since 1858. There are a number of reasons why people contact the Central Index.

The most common reasons are:

  • to obtain a copy of decrees absolute (divorce papers/civil partnership dissolution)
  • to find out if they have been divorced, following a long separation
  • to find out if a relative or friend has been divorced
  • to help trace a family tree or for other historical reasons

How do you apply for a search?

You will need to complete form D440 and send it to:

The Principal Registry of the Family Division
Decree Absolute Search Service
First Avenue House
42-49 High Holborn

Tel: 020 7947 6000

Further details

For more details on searching the Central Index for copies of divorce papers, please use the link to the Her Majesty's Courts Service website. This contains details of fees that you may have to pay and help with filling in form D440 and other useful information.

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