by Attorney Amy Saunders
To locate Massachusetts divorce papers you will need to know which county the divorce took place, as well as the names of the parties involved.
1) The first step is to determine the county in Massachusetts where the divorce papers were filed — this is where the copies will be located (1922-present). This is usually the county that the couple last lived in. If you are unsure which county that is, there is a statewide index available from 1952 to present at the Massachusetts Department of Health’s Registry of Vital Records, but once again the actual copies will still be located at the county probate court. A list of all Probate and Family can be located here.
2) Go to the probate and family court division of the Clerk of Courts that the divorce was filed in.
3) Go to the records department and ask to view the case file for the divorce that you are searching for. You may be required to complete a file request form, depending on the individual policies of each county. Once the representative locates the files, they will allow you to view them in a secure room. If you would like to make copies, the clerk will make them for you for a per-page fee. The fees for copies may vary.
If you have any questions about this process – feel free to use our free “Ask a Lawyer” resource. Our team of attorneys will be happy to assist you free-of-charge.